Whether or not you have arthritis, the benefits of exercise go far beyond the changes you may see in your physique. Multiple studies have shown that exercise boosts mood and energy, both of which are important factors in the management of arthritis. As an arthritis sufferer, the key to staying consistent with an exercise program is to find a program that you enjoy, which is also gentle on your joints.
The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center released a publication stating that 40 percent of individuals are in a “pre-contemplative” stage about adopting new behaviors, such as exercise.
To get out of pre-contemplative mode and into the actual exercise, it’s often helpful to have a structured exercise program, where the exercises are laid out in an easy-to-follow routine. Services such as Curves fitness for women help those who aren’t quite sure what exercises they need to do or for what period of time. You may also be able to obtain advice on creating a routine through the arthritis center at your nearest hospital.
Others find it more convenient to work out at home. For this population, low impact workout videos, treadmills and stationery bicycles are a good option. Those with limited mobility may benefit from the Theracycle, which is a motorized bicycle that assists in movement of the rider’s legs, which is particularly helpful in maintaining flexibility for those with arthritis.
Water aerobics is especially beneficial for arthritis patients. Exercise for arthritis sufferers may be painful because of the impact on their joints; however, water aerobics works the heart without any shock or pressure. Local gyms, YMCA locations and recreation centers often offer water aerobics classes. Your hospital’s arthritis center may also have suggestions for water aerobics classes.