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Q&A: Exercising with arthritis

Aging Well | Chronic Conditions | August 10, 2017
I have arthritis. What kind of exercise will work for me?

For people with osteoarthritis, exercise can help you manage joint pain and feel better. Extended breaks in your workout program can actually make your arthritis symptoms worse. Try these exercises to help manage your health:

  • Aerobics. Consistent aerobic exercise is important for helping maintain your cardiovascular health. Even better, cardiovascular exercise increases endorphins and helps reduce joint pain, making it easier to live with arthritis. Try low-impact options like swimming, water aerobics, and walking.
  • Strength training. Weak muscles can stress joints, causing pain and joint deterioration. Strong muscles support the bones and joints, relieving pain and pressure. Tax your muscles safely so they grow stronger. Exercises like pushups, pullups, situps, and squats use your body weight to strengthen muscles.
  • Flexibility. Stretching your muscles and ligaments reduces stress on your joints and helps improve balance, reducing the risk of falls. Yoga and tai chi are great ways to increase your flexibility and improve your balance.

This healthy living tip is courtesy of Casey Cornelius, MD.

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