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Arthritis & the Power of Exercise

It is never too late to start exercising.

“Contrary to popular belief, there is never an age, skill level or stage of arthritis so bad that you can’t do something constructive for your mobility,” says Vonda Wright, MD, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sports Medicine.

Exercising as little as two times per week can drastically improve one’s pain, fatigue and other arthritis symptoms. We can not stress enough the power of exercise and its ability to reduce your risk of health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and osteoporosis.

Arthritis easily immobilizes people because of the pain it inflects. Many fail to realize exercise is an effective solution and powerful pain reliever.

It’s not hard to justify exercising helps to cope with the pain and agony arthritis brings.

Some of the beneficial side effects of exercise include:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased energy
  • Improved mobility
  • Promoted flow of endorphins (those feel-good, all natural chemicals produced by our brain)

Getting started is the hardest part. Here are a few tips to help you on your way!

See a Doctor & Make a Plan. Doctor checking senior woman arm

Consult with a health care professional. It is best to keep your medical team well informed. They will best prescribe the best exercises and arrange activities according to your medical history. Seeking professional advise will set you up for the most success.

Start small.

Progress takes time. Set attainable goals that are realistic to achieve. Don’t let discouragement stand in your way. Overcoming manageable hurdles is the best motivation. As you continue to improve, incorporate more challenging exercises into your routine.

No excuses.

If you don’t have time to get to a gym (or don’t feel like committing to a membership), working out at home or walking around the block still counts. Try dividing exercising 30 minutes/day into 2 or 3 mini sessions. Additionally, there are many great home work out dvds that cater to anyone’s needs.

Do what works best for you. exercise-for-arthritis

You will discover there are some exercises you really enjoy and those you strongly dislike. If you are too sore in the morning, try working out in the afternoon. Too tired after a long day? Start your morning with exercise. Do you find exercising lonely? Find a workout buddy. Don’t torture yourself, do what you enjoy.

Reward yourself.

Working out will be a reward in itself; however, people will feel better about something or repeat it with some incentive. Reward yourself as you accomplish goals or tasks. Instead of rewarding yourself with extra calories, find motivators that will build on your new healthy habits. How about some new clothes or a massage? It is best to keep your eye on the prize!

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