Exercise and Physical Therapy

Physical treatments for arthritis — stretching and strengthening exercises, cardiovascular exercise, splints, physical aids, and more — are a cornerstone of self-management. Learn how they can help.

Chair Exercise

The key to healthy aging is staying physically active. Even if you have limited mobility, there are exercises you can do to strengthen your muscles and improve your overall well-being, all without buying expensive equipment or leaving the comfort of your own home.

Choosing a Fitness Facility

Exercise is one of the best ways to treat the symptoms of arthritis, and one good way to stick with an exercise program is to join a gym. But finding a gym or fitness center that suits your needs can feel like a monumental task, especially if you experience pain and decreased mobility because of arthritis. These concerns, however, can be addressed and overcome with a little know-how.

Choosing Home-Exercise Equipment

Knowing the right technique is the key to protecting your joints during exercise, and having the right equipment can also make a big difference. But how do you know what the right equipment is? This article offers some pointers on finding the tools you need to meet your exercise goals while avoiding injury.

Exercise for Painful Shoulders

The shoulder is truly an amazing joint. It can move your arms in any direction in front of you, to your sides, over your head, and even behind you. But with this versatility comes a greater risk of injury and pain. People can develop shoulder pain from all sorts of activities, including household chores, heavy lifting on the job, and recreational sports.

Exercises for Hip Osteoarthritis

Your hips play a role in many everyday activities, from climbing stairs to clipping toenails. Research shows that the right kind of exercise can reduce hip pain and improve mobility in people with OA.

Foot Health: Keep Walking for a Lifetime

The average American walks more than 5,000 steps per day, but foot pain from arthritis could take your feet out from under you. There's a lot you can do to keep your feet healthy and reduce foot pain. Learn about the tools, techniques, and tips that can help you maintain your well-being from heel to toe.

Motivating Yourself to Exercise

You know exercise is good for your arthritis, but you haven’t found a way to include it in your daily routine. Perhaps you’ve tried to make a habit of exercise but haven’t been able to keep it up. Whatever the reason for the lack of exercise in your life, you know you could get moving if you wanted to. You just haven’t.

Office Workouts: 8 Exercises to Do at Your Desk

How do you know you’ve sat for too long at your desk? Do you feel that nagging knot at the base of your neck, or the dull, persistent throb of an irritable low back? You’d think that sitting at a desk would be straightforward, but the truth is that holding yourself in a single position for a long time can bring about stiffness and weakness in the joints and muscles.

Osteoporosis and Exercise

Osteoporosis is called the “silent disease” because you may not know you have it until you break a bone. If you don’t have osteoporosis, your primary goal is to prevent it. If you already have osteoporosis, treatment can prevent further bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures. Exercise and physical activity have an important role to play both in preventing osteoporosis and in treating it.

Pilates

You have probably heard about the exercise method known as Pilates (Pi-LAH-teez). Nowadays it seems that Pilates is everywhere you look, and you may be wondering what all the hype is about. Is it a fad? A cult? Do you need to be able to touch the back of your head with your heels to be able to do it? The answer to all these questions is no.

Resources for Walkers

Walking is a great way to improve your level of physical fitness. Regularly taking a stroll can also lessen your pain and increase function, and as a weight-bearing exercise, it can strengthen the bones in your legs. If you're interested in walking for fitness, here are some resources to help you get your foot out the door.

Sneaking In Exercise

Everywhere you turn, it seems, you are constantly being told about the benefits of exercising. At every doctor’s visit, in the news, and in the magazines at the grocery checkout stand, we are all told that we must exercise. Why? Are the benefits really that impressive? The short answer is yes.

Stretching

When many people think about getting more exercise, their minds turn to jogging or lifting weights. And those are important parts of the overall picture. But stretching is important, too, and can help you maintain your mobility and improve your joint function. You can stretch almost anywhere, and you don’t need to buy any expensive equipment to do it.

The Dangers of Inactivity

The pain and stiffness that come with arthritis can make moving seem like the last thing you'd want to do. But physical activity is key to keeping yourself functioning well. Not only that, inactivity can make your symptoms worse and have negative effects on your heart, muscles, energy level, bones, and weight.

The Feldenkrais Method: A Stress-Free Exercise for People With Arthritis

Feldenkrais exercises involve no stretching or straining and require only minimal muscular effort. Instead, the Feldenkrais Method uses simple, easy movements to retrain your body to move in a more comfortable, efficient way. Over time, the Feldenkrais method could improve function and help you interrupt cycles of pain and tension.

The Many Benefits of Tai Chi

Sometimes called "meditation in motion" and "the ultimate low-impact exercise," tai chi can improve balance and increase strength. Studies also suggest that doing tai chi may increase bone density, decrease blood pressure, improve sleep, and make falls less likely. Find out how you can get started and what to look for in a tai chi class.

What Is Yoga?

Perhaps when you hear the word "yoga," you envision women in spandex with Madonna-like biceps, sweating as they contort into pretzel positions. This caricature image has some basis in reality. Yoga can involve complex poses, but it is much more accessible to most of us than its popular image suggests.

Winterizing Your Workout

You’ve laced up your sneakers, bounded through your warm-up cardio, and opened your front door — only to close it again because of the cold, gray rain pounding down outside. Cold weather can trip up even the most committed exerciser, but you don't have to let a chilly forecast stop you from staying active this winter.

Working With an Occupational Therapist

If stiff or painful joints, recent surgery, or illness or injuries prevent you from carrying out your day-to-day activities, you may be a candidate for occupational therapy. An occupational therapist (OT) is trained to assist you with those duties and activities that you perform on a regular basis, at home, at work, and during your leisure and recreational time, so you can do things for yourself.

Yoga and RA

One of the advantages of yoga is that it can be modified to suit a person’s specific needs and abilities. And research has shown that regular, tailored yoga comes with little risk of harm for people with RA. In fact, studies have shown that the potential benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, increased strength, and diminished stress.

 

Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

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