Experts Recommend Exercise to Treat ArthritisBy Mark Vavoulis • Sep 29th, 2010 • Category: Joint Health, True Health News
Healthcare experts with the American College of Rheumatology say individuals with arthritis who exercise have less pain, more energy, improved sleep and better day-to-day function, compared to those who don’t incorporate physical activity into their lifestyle.
Aerobic exercise such as walking, aerobic dance, aquatic exercise, bicycling or exercising on stationary bikes, treadmills or elliptical trainers improves heart, lung and muscle function. For people with arthritis, this type of exercise has benefits for weight control, mood, sleep and general health.
Exercises that help to maintain or improve flexibility may help arthritis sufferers benefit from better posture, reduced risk of injuries and improved function.
Strengthening exercises help improve muscle strength to improve function and help reduce bone loss related to inactivity. Experts say people with arthritis should work to challenge the muscles without increasing joint pain.
Body awareness exercises, such as yoga and tai chi, can improve posture, balance, joint position sense, coordination and relaxation.
Healthcare providers say that inactivity, in addition to arthritis-related problems, can result in a variety of health risks, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, decreased pain tolerance, weak muscles, stiff joints and poor balance common to many forms of arthritis can be made worse by inactivity.
Several nutritional supplements are also believed to help reduce arthritis pain. They include glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil and flaxseed.
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