How to Exercise for Arthritis; the best body movements to self-heal and get healthy again
How to Exercise for Arthritis; you may hate the idea of exercising because of the pain or stiffness you may feel if you suffer from any form of arthritis; however, movement is essential to improve your symptoms, whilst lack of movement can only make you more dependent on drugs and even less mobile.
Exercising will tackle your arthritis from 3 perspectives: muscle strengthening (which will reduce the stress on the bones or joints), weight loss (which will benefit your knees and hips) and overall joint and cartilage flexibility. It is only in very rare circumstances that you won’t be able to perform the exercises indicate below; however, as with all exercises whilst ill, always check with your doctor before starting.
If you suffer from arthritis the only type of exercise you can safely undertake is the type referred to as ‘low impact’. This means that it will not be harsh on your joints or bones; for example: jogging (or running) is high-impact, thus to be avoided if you have symptoms of this disease. Low-impact cardio exercises, which you can select depending on the specifics of your conditions, are cycling, swimming and using gym equipment such as ellipticals, gliders, skiing-simulators and similar types. If you use equipment make sure it’s of professional quality (cheap equipment may actually injure you). The cardio exercises mentioned above should be undertaken daily, for a minimum of 30 (uninterrupted) minutes, starting slowly and gently then gradually building up the pace.
Whilst you carry out your low-impact cardio exercises, learn to breath properly to maximize oxygenation, which will promote a healthy heart rate and increase circulation.
After these low-impact cardio exercises, before you cool down, it’s advisable to carry out a few minutes of muscle-building movements, such as bench exercises to strengthen the core of your body, especially good if you suffer from back pain (which include abdominal, obliques and back movements), and weight exercises to strengthen your arms and shoulders (mostly carried out whilst sitting or lying down to minimize pressure on your joints).
Initially, exercises may trigger a temporary reaction from your affected areas, although in some cases it can actually decrease inflammation and pain almost overnight. You may wish to help alleviate a temporary reaction with the intake of anti-inflammatory natural supplements, teas and foods: you can read all about this on our food and arthritis page. How I heal arthritis with Reiki.