When you experience pain in your joints, it can be challenging to motivate yourself to keep up with exercise, but research shows that regular exercise can decrease inflammation, fatigue, and pain while increasing blood flow, muscle strength, and quality of sleep. You may not be able to run or play sports like you used to, but there are many exercises that can help ease joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
There are several types of exercises that can help ease symptoms:
- Stretching exercises: Arthritis causes stiffness in the joints, so increasing flexibility in the joints is important to prevent further decrease in range of motion. A slow stretch to warm up your muscles and joints is imperative before any other exercise is started.
- Strengthening exercises: In addition to increasing flexibility in your joints, it is important to strengthen the muscles surrounding them in order to improve stability and protect them from further damage. Simple exercises with light weights, resistance bands, or taking a yoga or pilates class is a great way to improve muscle strength.
- Aerobic exercises: Keeping the heart and lungs healthy is also important to ensure ample blood circulation and helps to maintain a healthy weight. Swimming, walking, biking and even household routines like yard work are options.
Other helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Start slow and gentle: Overdoing it can backfire and cause more joint pain
- If you are new to exercise, first start with stretching and strengthening exercises to improve your fitness
- Use props and modifications to minimize impact on your joints
- Practice body awareness through practices like yoga and tai chi
Before starting a new exercise regime, consult with a medical professional to assess your arthritis and fitness level. A board-certified podiatrist can help with joint pain in the feet and ankles, and assess any other issues that may be contributing to your discomfort.
At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal provides quality podiatric care to patients in Wayne and the surrounding areas. Explore our services and call us at (973) 925-4111 to schedule an appointment today!