You might think exercise can aggravate joint pain and stiffness, but researchers have found that exercise reduces inflammation and can actually produce the same effect as taking a small dosage of anti-inflammatory meds. Lack of exercise, on the other hand, can make your joints even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining good support for your joints.
Start with stretching movements like yoga, tai chi, aqua fitness or swimming. To achieve long-term benefits, you can add strengthening exercises later.
We asked yoga and Pilates instructor Lisa Long, who advises the Fit & Well program at Baptist Beaches and teaches in Jacksonville Beach, to show us some simple exercises you can do to stretch and alleviate pain and discomfort from arthritis.
Watch her video responses here:
- Exercises for hands and fingers
- Exercises to keep your hips moving
- Shoulder stretch
- Stretching your back
You don’t have to run a marathon to help manage arthritis symptoms. Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain flexibility and manage weight.
Check with your doctor about exercise programs in your area for people with arthritis. The YMCA and local support groups offer special programs. The Arthritis Foundation conducts exercise programs for people with arthritis in many parts of the United States. Programs include gentle exercise classes, aqua fitness, and walking groups.
Learn more about what you can do to keep your joints healthy: