There is relief for those who suffer with arthritis pain — Exercise can help break the pain and fatigue cycle! “Exercise helps people who suffer with arthritis experience less pain, more energy, improved function and a better night’s sleep,” says Karen Turner-Schlegel who owns her Physical Therapy and Pilates studio in Encinitas. Without exercise, you can begin to lose function, independence and quality of life.
“I find it beneficial to often remind aging and older adults who suffer with arthritis that exercise is an important way to take control of their lives,” Karen said. “Unfortunately, people with arthritis often choose to avoid exercise due to pain or the fear of injury, but without exercise, their conditions will only get worse, increasing their reliance on less natural options such as medication.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 50 million adults in the U.S. suffer from arthritis. Exercise, confirms the CDC, is “one of the best ways to combat the onset of arthritis as well as to control pain and improve function.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, a Physical Therapist or personal trainer can work with an individual to tailor programs that specifically address fitness levels and health conditions, such as arthritis.
Exercises and activities considered safe for an arthritis sufferer includes:
- Range of Motion/Flexibility Exercises: Stretching and activities such as Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi.
- Low-Impact Aerobics: Walking, cycling and the use of equipment such as treadmills and elliptical trainers.
- Aquatic exercises and swimming.
- Strength Training: Using hand-weights, resistance bands, weight machines and even one’s own bodyweight to provide better joint support.
- Lifestyle Exercises: Daily activities such as housework, gardening and going for a walk.
Karen says the best way to get started in an exercise program is to first consult a Physician or Physical Therapist to learn what type of exercise program is right for you. Contact Karen to learn more about developing such individualized programs.