People who exercise are often healthier, happier and live longer than those who don't. But if you have joint pain due to arthritis, you may argue that your condition is the reason you don't exercise. Despite how you feel, it may be even more important for you to exercise Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is the leading cause of disability in people over age 55. And inactivity can make some symptoms of arthritis worse. It can result in: Lower pain tolerance Weaker muscles Stiff joints Decreased range of motion However, people with arthritis who exercise tend to have: Less pain More energy Improved sleep Improved joint motion and function Better coordination, balance and daily function That's why the American College of Rheumatology suggests that exercise should be part of treating osteoarthritis, which often strikes the hips, knees and spine. Exercise also benefits people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which often inflames joints in the hands, wrist, feet and ankles. Exercise works to: Strengthen joints and surrounding muscles Relieve joint stiffness Reduce pain It's especially important for older adults to help them live independently for longer. And it's never too late to start. The best exercises? Even if arthritis affects your joints, you have many exercise options. Your doctor and you should decide the amount and type of exercise you do. Try to include these four major types of exercise in your workout. Each can have a positive effect on reducing the pain and disability of arthritis. They include: Flexibility. Range-of-motion exercises and stretching help maintain or improve flexibility in affected joints and surrounding muscles. These can help with: Improving posture Reducing injuries Bettering function Flexibility exercises may be done up to five to 10 times per day. People with RA may find they're best done in the evening. This can help reduce joint stiffness the next morning. Stretching exercises may be done at least three days per week. Strengthening. As muscles strengthen, they give more joint support and reduce impact throughout the joint. Strong muscles also help reduce bone loss. Start slowly with your doctor's approval and gradually increase your workout. A typical exercise program calls for doing one set of eight to 10 exercises with eight to 12 repetitions of each, for two or three days per week. Aerobic. This type of exercise can improve heart, lung and muscle function as well as weight, mood, sleep and general health. But try to avoid doing aerobics within two hours of bedtime, as it can interfere with your sleep pattern. Forms of aerobic exercise include: Walking Dancing Aquatic activity Bicycling Using stationary bikes, treadmills or elliptical trainers Body awareness. These exercises, like tai chi and yoga, are the least recognized. But they can help improve posture, balance, coordination and relaxation. Start out slowly with short, frequent exercise sessions. If one type of exercise causes discomfort or increases your symptoms, try another. If walking on the pavement causes discomfort in your hips or knees, try to swim or walk in a pool. This can help build your leg muscles without the stress of your weight on your joints. Whatever type of exercise you pursue, be sure to find the right time of day to work out. It will help establish a routine that will give you the greatest benefits.webdental.com/members/tomperry
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