If you struggle from arthritis pain, often exercise can be the last thing on your mind. However, exercise provides a wide variety of benefits, both for people with arthritis and those who do not have arthritis.
How is exercise good for your health?
Exercise can help you improve your overall health without hurting your joints. In fact, lack of exercise can make your joints more stiff and painful. However, only 1 in 5 Americans actually get the right amount of exercise to maintain a strong physical condition.
Lack of exercise is connected to more than 5 million deaths globally each year, meaning that failure to exercise regularly can actually be more deadly than smoking. According to a German study, just 25 minutes of walking per day could extend your life as much as 7 years. In this study, researchers monitoring aging markers in the blood for six months. They observed gradual DNA repair within subjects who were exercising, and found that the risk for heart attack was substantially reduced in these patients.
A 2008 study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that people with arthritis who lead a more sedentary life saw significant declines in pain and fatigue when they exercised two times per a week for an hour each time. Participants of this study also saw an improvement in their ability to manage their arthritis.
In fact, regular exercise is considered the most effective non-drug treatment for reducing pain and improving movement in people with OA.
Why does exercise help your joints?
Joints are surrounded by a soft tissue called the synovial membrane. This membrane produces synovial fluid, which allows your joints to function smoothly. As we get older, our bodies produce less and less of this fluid. Additionally, exercise helps to increase the circulation of this fluid, allowing for more lubrication and joint function.
There are many benefits for exercising with people who have osteoarthritis. First, exercise eases joint pain. By exercising, you increase the amount of lubrication in your joint cartilage, which improves range of motion and alleviates pain. Exercise also builds muscles to support our joints and minimizes pressure on our joints. Additionally, exercise helps combat fatigue, which allows for a more active lifestyle.
Where can I start?
For exercise, as with any new activity, it is important to set small goals and stay consistent. Walking is a great way to get started - you don’t even have to walk far to get results!
Always remember to stretch. Dynamic stretching is the best way to prepare your body for a workout, as it increases blood flow and muscle temperature. Dynamic stretching prevents injuries that can occur from cold stretching. You should never stretch a cold muscle.
Make sure to choose low-impact activities. Find an activity that is low-impact and easy on your joints, such as swimming, riding your bike, or doing yoga. Remember, never perform any movements that cause you pain.
Contact the Experts
If you’re ready to start your exercise journey, but are unsure of where to start, contact the experts at Flexogenix®. Our Kineti-Flex program can help you get on the right track with a personalized exercise plan tailored to fit your needs.
And if you’re suffering from joint pain, contact us for your free consultation and we can show you how our solutions can help you get back on your feet and back to an active lifestyle!