Strengthening exercises provide many benefits for those with arthritis by building strength and endurance in muscles, by increasing flexibility, and, like stretching, by taking strain off of joints and easing pain. Moderate activity can also help prevent the progression of arthritis and improve overall functioning of the body.
It is important when exercising with arthritis to be aware and take note of any pain or discomfort you may feel either before or during the process. You may want to consider taking the following precautions:
- If you feel pain before exercising – either avoid that area completely, or for slight discomfort, moving it may help it to feel better. Be sure to monitor the situation if attempting to exercises any painful areas.
- If you feel pain during exercising – immediately stop, and either decrease intensity, take the weight off of that joint, or exercise a different area of the body.
- If you feel pain after exercising – be sure to cool down and stretch, and notice trends in your exercises and the pains you feel to adjust accordingly.
- For severe inflammation and or discomfort, you can use a resistance band to provide resistance for strengthening exercises without bearing weight or creating impact on painful joints.
- As always, please ask your rheumatologist for their recommendations and advice regarding any specific questions you have about your own individual needs and conditions.
Strengthening Exercises for Arthritis
If you’re ready to try some strengthening exercises to alleviate pain and improve joint movement, follow along with me in the video above.
Make sure to be dressed in clothing that allows you to move, stay hydrated, and press pause whenever you need a break. Remember to listen to your body and act accordingly.
If you are experiencing particularly stiff wrists, please do the following for exercises that include bearing weight on the hands: roll up a mat underneath the wrists to decrease the bend (as shown in the video) or make fists and bear your weight on your knuckles, eliminating the bend of the wrist completely.
After exercising with me, be sure to stretch to finish. You may want to follow my general stretching routine here. Have fun and your body will thank you for the special care.
A body in motion stays in motion!