You seem to be restless all day and feel terrible pain during nighttime. It seems endless, the cycle of pain and immobility, not having the means to do the things you used to do and the stress and boredom that go with it. When you are tormented by the pain of arthritis, you most likely would long for some rest rather than exercise which seems to be exhausting and painful altogether.
It is a mistaken notion that exercise can further damage your joints. On the other hand, doing moderate exercises have shown significant impact in the overall well-being of patients suffering from arthritis. Patients should of course refrain from doing high-impact exercises as this may aggravate their condition. There are, however, a variety of low-impact or moderate exercises that have shown incredible benefits such as reduction of joint pain and the strengthening of muscles around the affected joint. It has also improved overall health and fitness by creating a healthy self-esteem, reducing depressive symptoms, controlling obesity, improving sleep, and boosting energy.
Top 7 Exercise Plans for Arthritis
- Exercises in the pool
- Tai Qi
Water therapy or pool exercises are great for people with arthritis. The water’s buoyancy helps relax the affected joints and aids free movement as it does not put too much strain on your joints while you do the exercises. It would be advisable to use warm water as this dilates the blood vessels and helps increase good blood circulation which is recommended for your swollen joints.
The practice of yoga originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. This is one of the mind-body integrating movement practices that have spiritual origins. The word yoga is derived from Sanskrit; which means to “yoke,” or unify the three mantras of mind, body, and spirit. This is an alternative to traditional exercise which mainly focuses on bodily strength and endurance.
Yoga is a combination of physical movement exercises, spiritual cleansing, and certain lifestyle modifications. It is centered on having the chakras aligned in achieving equilibrium in your holistic frame of well-being.
The essential principle of pilates focuses on breathing and body awareness. This program widely promotes spinal health. This can also be customized to fit your need especially if you have swollen and painful joints to begin with. This is done by contracting your muscles without mobilizing your joints.
Callanetics is a non-impact exercise regimen which was developed by Callan Pickney in 1980 that incorporates small yet precise pulses or movements for those who want to shape up as well as improve their arthritic symptoms. It is proven to improve the conditions of people with scoliosis, osteoporosis, arthritis, and Crone’s disease.
Qigong is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment like that of acupuncture. Qi means “breath of life” and gong means “achievement”. It supports the notion that good health is derived from a free flowing qi system while diseases could mean that there is blockage in the natural flow. It also includes proper breathing techniques, physical poses, as well as a good focus of intention. The benefits derived from this program include increased mobility of the affected joints, less inflammation or swelling, reduction of pain and tenderness, decreased anxiety, and an overall state of well-being.
One of the principles of eastern arts is Tai Qi. Same with Qigong, this also integrates the importance of combining both physical and mental exercises to be able to acquire holistic and balanced positive results. This is a low-impact exercise technique which also involves deep breathing as well as visualization exercises coupled with stretching regimen and cardio workout. This has proven to decrease stress as well as reduce tension, stress, and arthritic symptoms such as joint pain, inflammation, tenderness, and the like. It thrives in the principle that to heal the body and alleviate bodily toxins, one must deal with the inner self and free ourselves of emotional baggage or stressors that could have caused us these diseases in the first place.
Walking has always been the simplest and basic form of exercise that almost anyone can do. No trainings or coaching needed whatsoever. This is great to clear our minds of worthless thoughts and help strengthen our flexibility and endurance as well. A breath of fresh air is what we need when we want to rejuvenate and think. Just make sure that you have the appropriate walking shoes with good support and shock absorbency. You determine the pace and how far you walk. Do not overwork your legs though; just be cautious because it might aggravate rather than help if you are not careful. Develop a rhythm and enjoy the walk. You can do this with your wife or husband; it would be a fun and intimate activity for both of you.
These exercise regimens alone would not be a guarantee that your symptoms will be improved. This should be supported by a healthy diet, plenty of rest, water therapy, drinking multivitamins and food supplements, and having a positive mental attitude. You will go places as long as you have faith. It may be a long and rigorous ride, but it will be well worth it along the way.