Exercise Your Way Through Arthritis

Photo Credit: Kristina Nor

The knuckles and joints of every finger ache… the wrists feel fatigued and you’ve barely lifted a pen today.

The groaning seems to get louder every time you sit or stand because your knees are so stiff and sore it’s tough to move them.

The last thing on your mind is exercise.

How can anyone expect you to move more than you really need to to get through a day with an arthritis flare up?

So the day you wake up with almost every joint painful and stiff is not the day to begin your new exercise program but … two days from now, when it’s a little easier to step out of bed, not so overwhelming walk to the mailbox, that’s the day to begin! Ok, at least begin thinking about it.

The scientific truth is that exercise is good for arthritis. It’s actually great for arthritis and can help reduce pain, reduce frequency and intensity of flare ups, and help combat fatigue. Not exercising can even make arthritis worse.

Now, I’m not talking about training for a marathon or lifting a 150-lb barbell overhead. But I am talking about walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, and moderate strength training – with 5-lb weights – just a few minutes a day.

The Mayo Clinic explains: “keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.”

A low impact, moderate intensity fitness program will help:

  • Strengthen muscles around your joints
  • Maintain bone strength
  • Boost energy to get through the day
  • Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
  • Help you control your weight
  • Enhance your quality of life

A healthy fitness program that combines aerobic/heart healthy activity, strength, flexibility, mobility, and stability training for just a few minutes every day can keep you moving for years to come.

The right exercise and nutrition program can help arthritis and other inflammatory joint pain. As with starting any new exercise and nutrition program, check with your doctor first.

A perk in working one on one with a certified personal trainer such as NickiFit A2Z is the trainer can work in partnership with your doctor to ensure safe programming that works for your body. Also, an educated trainer can easily adjust exercises based on how you are feeling and what is doable for you on any given day. I’ve worked with clients that feel strong and energetic on Monday so we walk and strength train, but by Thursday they have been overcome by an aching body and fatigue and in lieu of cancelling a session we practice some gentle yoga and deep breathing together which clients have found extremely helpful in just getting them through that day.

If you’ve been suffering through arthritis and would like to see if there is an alternative therapy let’s chat! It’s free! It’s time to feel better in your body!

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