Quick Tips for Exercising with Arthritis To Lose Weight

It is well-known that exercise plays a critical role in improving range of motion and reducing pain in people with arthritis. Most arthritis management plans will include a regular exercise component. The key is to perform the exercises correctly and to take into account that arthritis is present and that the health of the joints are compromised. There are adaptions you can make to exercise that can help you to reap the benefits without causing any harm to your joints. Knowing these adaptions and the few precautions associated with exercising with arthritis will ensure that you improve the health of your joints.

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How exercise helps with Arthritis

Several decades ago, doctors actually recommended that people with arthritis avoid exercise. At that time, it was thought that exercise caused damage to the joints. It is known that this is not true and that exercise can help with arthritis in the following ways:

    1. Exercise helps to reduce stiffness, inflammation and joint pain in people with arthritis
    2. Exercise works to improve joint flexibility and range of motion
    3. Working out leads to better joint support by building the muscle around them, and this works to protect joints from wear, tear and shock

Regular exercise improves endurance

Warming up for exercise

It is critical to do a proper warmup before you do any type of exercise because this prepares your joints and muscles for a workout session. This is particularly important when exercising with arthritis. When you warm up properly, you are reducing your risk for pain and injury. A good warmup consists of something like walking for five or 10 minutes. Do not stretch as part of your warmup, as stretching is best after your muscles and joints are already warmed up.

You may also consider applying some heat to the joints that feel sore and stiff. You can apply heat for 10 to 15 minutes prior to exercising. If you choose to use some heat before your workout, make sure to still complete your warmup so that your muscles and joints are fully ready for more intense exercise.

Stretching and flexibility training

stretching image01When people with arthritis do not normally exercise, starting with stretching is a good way to go. This allows you to prepare your muscles and joints for a more intense exercise program in the future. Stretching improves your range of motion and can help to alleviate stiffness in your joints. Before you perform a stretching session, it is critical that you do a proper warmup because stretching cold muscles can hinder your stretches and increase your risk of injury. Make sure that you only stretch far enough to feel a gentle stretch and not any pain.

Strength training exercise

Strength training is a very important part of an arthritis exercise program. This helps you to improve joint support by helping to build up the muscles that surround them. You should perform a variety of both isotonic exercises and isometric exercises. An isotonic exercise involves moving the joints to strengthen muscles. Isometric exercises involve strengthening your muscles without moving a joint

When you are performing your strength training routine, there are several things that you must keep in mind to help you get the most out of your routine:

  1. You should strength train every other day so that your muscles have a day to recover in between sessions.
  2. If you ever experience pain, immediately stop the exercise. You may need to reduce the weight or resistance to prevent pain.
  3. When you are getting started with strength training, start slow to avoid injury. Start with a low amount of weight and slowly work up to heavier weights.

Cardiovascular exercise

Once you have a good stretching routine down and you are improving your flexibility, you can start to add cardiovascular exercise to your weekly routine. It is very important that you choose the right activity because when you are exercising with arthritis, high-impact activities are not ideal because they overly stress your joints. The following cardiovascular exercise recommendations should be heeded by those with arthritis:

  1. Do not perform high-impact cardiovascular exercises, such as running and jogging.
  2. Perform cardiovascular exercise three to four days each week. Each session should last at least 30 minutes. If you are not used to exercising, start with any amount you can handle and build toward longer sessions.
  3. Perform non-impact exercises, including swimming, biking and water aerobics.
  4. Listen to your body and if you are not feeling well or your joints are particularly painful and stiff, take a break for the day.

Cooling down after exercise

Many people skip the cool down component of an exercise session and this is never a good idea. When you cool down, you allow your body to slow down gradually and recuperate from the activity. Start by taking five or 10 minutes to do a slower activity, such as a leisurely walk. This allows your joints and muscles to cool down, and it helps to gradually slow your heart rate. After a short walk, consider some stretches since it is best to stretch muscles that are already warmed up.

To reduce inflammation after a workout, you can ice the joints that are most sore. Ice the joints for about 15 minutes to alleviate inflammation and soreness. Make sure to place a washcloth on the ice pack so that it is not directly on your skin. You can also try soaking in warm water to relax your joints and muscles after a workout.

People with arthritis must be more careful when they exercise and it is important to make the necessary adaptions to protect the joints. You should talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program, especially when you have arthritis. Your doctor can help you to create an exercise plan that will provide you with benefits for your joints and overall health. They will also help to ensure that the exercise you are doing is not too much for the state of your arthritis.

Exercising with arthritis is definitely possible and also beneficial. You just have to take the right precautions. Thus, if you are suffering from arthritis and trying to lose weight quickly, there is no reason you can’t include effective workout strategies into your weight loss plans

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