Exercise is good for us: it keeps us supple, flexible and reduces the risk of illness. Everyone benefits from exercise but, for people with arthritis, the benefits of regular exercise are endless.
Following a regular exercise programme enables people to live with less pain and enjoy a more, independent life. Five to 10 minutes of exercise twice a day is a good way to start building exercise into your daily routine. This could be as easy as walking short distances instead of driving or mopping your kitchen floor!
Arthritis Research UK (ARUK) recommends different types of exercises tailored to support different pain types. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Stretching exercises help ease aches and pains, and get the best movement from your joints.
Sitting with your legs shoulder width apart straight in front of you and lean forward to touch your toes. Don’t worry if you can’t do this at first, gradually push yourself to get closer and hold your stretch for 5-10 seconds.
Strengthening exercises will help your muscles to better support your joints and keep them in the right position. If muscles are weak, the joints can become unstable and this can be painful.
Sitting on a chair, and without using your hands for support, slowly stand up and sit back down. Repeat this movement for 1 minute. As you feel more comfortable, increase the number of sit/stands you can do in 1 minute. You can then try the same exercise using a lower chair or the bottom two steps of a staircase.
Fitness exercises help us keep our hearts healthy. This type of exercise can be as simple as walking a bit further or faster than normal.
Taking a brisk walk around your local area. Aim for a 10-15 minute walk, going further at a gradual pace. Even if the weather is not on your side, this exercise will work just as well around the house.