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  • Writer's pictureJessica Frizzell, PA-C

How to Safely Exercise with Arthritis To Help You Reduce Joint Pain & Stay Active

Updated: Mar 22

Exercising has lots of benefits for your arthritis! Did you know that exercise can help you improve joint pain, lower inflammation, reduce flares, improve mood and impact your overall quality of life? Your exercise routine is likely the most important predictor of how much or little arthritis will impact your daily life. The more active you are, the more successful you are likely to be in your efforts to overcome arthritis and live your best life!

There are so many different types of exercise activities you can choose from. As you think about the activity that most interests you, we recommend using the five S.M.A.R.T. tips provided by the CDC for your choosing the best exercise routine for your body:

#1 Start low, go slow

If you’re not currently active, start with small amounts of activity for just a few minutes each day. Once you build up strength and endurance, you can start increasing the amount of time you exercise.

Remember: Listen to your body as you exercise to know how much it can tolerate at one time.

#2 Modify activity when arthritis symptoms increase, try to stay active

Living with arthritis means you have days where you feel more active than other days. That’s okay! When you find an exercise routine that works for you, try to keep it consistent while also listening to your body. Know when you need to reduce the amount of exercise you are doing to avoid making your arthritis symptoms worse.

#3 Activities should be “joint friendly”

Because arthritis largely affects the joints, it’s important to choose exercise activities that are what we like to call “joint friendly.” This means that the activity doesn’t put too much strain on the joints and has low risk of injury. Click here to see an extensive list of activity suggestions from the Arthritis Foundation.

#4 Recognize safe places and ways to be active

Establishing an exercise routine should be beneficial, not harmful, to your arthritis. Yet, exercise comes with different risks depending on the activity. Because of this, we recommend that you join a group exercise class at your local gym or initially train with a personal trainer to ensure you are safely exercising. As you learn safe practices, you can exercise in other places or by yourself.

#5 Talk to a health professional or certified exercise specialist

We’re here to help you on your exercise journey. The next time you visit the PadRheum, ask questions about which activities are best for you and how often you should exercise. We can help you set tangible exercise goals.

If you have questions or concerns about how exercising will affect your arthritis, speak with one of our healthcare team members during your next visit to Paducah Rheumatology.

We’re here to help support you and your health!

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