We Are Built To Move
If you have arthritis moving might be your best friend. Moving keeps our joints limber and helps with pain control.
Some people with arthritis resist physical activity because they feel that it will increase pain or further damage their joints. We are built to move. Our joints allow for mobility. Movement eases stiffness, reduces joint pain and strengthens the muscles which support the joints. Movement also helps with maintaining a healthy weight.
Movement is important for everyone not just those with arthritis.
It is important for everyone to protect their joints by controlling the tempo at which a movement is being performed (avoid whipping or snapping).
Here are a few tips.
- Pay attention to pain.
- Use proper form
- Balance activity and rest
- Don’t overdo it
- Maintain a healthy weight
It is important for everyone to maintain a healthy body weight. Carrying extra pounds adds stress to the joints. One study showed that for every extra pound gained over our ideal body weight there is a four pound increase in the loading forces placed on the knee.
Jogging is not required: The desired benefits of regular physical activity can be achieved with low-impact exercise. Low-impact exercise minimizes the stress put on joints during high intensity workouts. Examples of low impact exercises are swimming, cycling, lifting weights.
The muscles that support our joints must be kept as strong as possible. You can work on maintaining or improving your muscle strength by doing strengthening exercises. With proper strength training you will increase the stability of your joints while decreasing pain.
Due to stiffness and pain range of motion is hampered when a person has arthritis. To preserve or improve the range of motion controlled stretching is required. Slowly extend, bend or rotate each of your joints. Once you have reached the point that you feel either a tugging sensation or pain, stop and hold for a count of ten then slowly return to the starting position.
Food choices also play a major role in improving joint health, overall health and body weight. Choose foods that are unprocessed, high in nutrients and low in calories.
Brian Forsythe of EHF EXECUTIVE HEALTH AND FITNESS is a natural competitive bodybuilder and personal trainer with over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry