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arthritis exercise



September is Arthritis Awareness Month and for many people this is a serious issue as arthritis effects people of all ages. There are many types of known arthritis and therefore there are a variety of causes from degeneration with age to autoimmune diseases. Currently there is no cure for arthritis but one thing is for certain, once again exercise is highly recommended to combat the effects and symptoms of this disorder.

One of the reasons exercise is so crucial for people with arthritis is because it increases strength and flexibility while reducing joint pain and fatigue. Because the effects of arthritis can be overwhelming, getting past the unwillingness to exercise may be the most difficult part to overcome. Your body is in constant or regular pain and it may seem impossible to work during the flare-ups. However, it must be understood that exercise is actually a way to reduce the pain. Find something, anything that can be used to motivate you whether it be a fitness goal, a need to be independent, or to be there for your loved ones.  It is wise to establish a regular work out schedule and routine. Remember that you are an example to someone and the fight in you can be the inspiration someone else needs, too.

When deciding on which exercises to begin with, choose low impact exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, elliptical or yoga with modifications. Decide what exercises are best for you, which ones movements and stretches relieve the pain of arthritis and also which exercises to avoid because they may exacerbate the issue. You will have to seek help from your doctor but with guidance, practice and regular sessions you can create and easy to follow fitness plan. An example of a low impact but effective workout routine for those with arthritis could be as follows:

Warm up:

10-15 minute walk

*try to cover a little more distance every week


10-12 air squats

10-12 wall push-ups


10-12 step ups

10-12 bicep curls

10-12 tricep overhead extensions


10-12 side lying hip abduction

10-12 crunches

10-12 reverse crunches

10-12 bicycle crunches


Cool Down/Stretch:

Yoga Poses such as:

Mountain Pose

Forward Fold

Downward Dog


Lizard Lunge

Cat to Cow

Child's Pose

It is of up-most importance that you listen to your body. If something does not feel right, discontinue the exercise and either find a reasonable modification or wait until you feel ready to to perform that specific movement. Consult your doctor when necessary. It is recommended that everyone gets at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. If this feels like too much at first, ease into working out by starting out at 10-15 minutes at a time and gradually extending the duration and regularity of your sessions.


Raiye R. 

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