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Time to Exercise! Why Exercise is Good for Arthritis

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Exercising with ArthritisIt’s that time of year again—when everyone looks forward to summer vacations and days of relaxing by a pool or the beach. Many people are thinking about getting back in shape after a long winter, too, especially now that the weather is nice enough to be active outdoors. The truth is, though, exercising doesn’t come easily to everyone, and if you have arthritis, it can seem like a tall order. The good news is that exercising with arthritis is not only possible, but it’s beneficial for your lower limbs.

It’s a normal reaction for people to avoid anything that causes pain. When you have arthritis, just moving a joint around can be very uncomfortable, which can drive people to limit their activities to reduce discomfort. The problem is that avoiding motion can actually make the stiffness of arthritis worse. Your joints need to be used regularly to retain their strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

Exercise allows your joints to keep moving, alleviating stiffness. Just as importantly, it builds up the tissues that support your joint, keeping them strong and reducing the strain on your bones. The right kinds of activities can also help you control your weight, which is actually an important factor in managing arthritis pain. Your fitness activities don’t have to be difficult, either. Here are some of the best ways to stay active with stiff joints:

  • Walk – Going for a walk every day, or at least several days a week, boosts your circulation and strengthens your lower limbs without being too strenuous.

  • Low-impact aerobic activities – Swimming, water aerobics, biking, and any other cardio activities help improve your circulation without straining your feet.

  • Strength training – Basic weight training and other strength conditioning helps build up the supporting structures in your feet to alleviate stress on your lower limbs.

The key is to prevent your feet and lower limb joints from getting so stiff that they stop you from moving around. Our team at Martin Foot and Ankle can help you manage your arthritis and stay fit safely. Just contact our Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz or York, PA, offices for an appointment. You can reach us by calling (717) 757-3537.

Photo Credit: David Mark via Pixabay.com

Dr. Bronwyn Wilke
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