Arthritis is a joint condition that can make exercise in your weight loss plan a challenge. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common issues that many Americans face as they get older. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 67 million Americans aged 18 and older are expected to develop doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
There are two forms of arthritis, a developed disease called osteoarthritis that comes from wear and tear on your joints over time, and rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic ailment that is often genetic and stays with an individual for life. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatments available to help people cope with the condition.
Exercise: a healthy and natural way to ease arthritis
You may think that exercise could make your joint pain worse, but nothing could be further from the truth! According to Harvard Medical School, even a simple walk on most days can help to ease the irritation and inflammation associated with arthritis. Harvard highlighted a CDC survey indicating that a meager 23 percent of patients associated with the disease met the current recommendation for exercise, around 150 minutes of walking per week.
Carrying around extra weight can put extra pressure on your joints, which can make your arthritis pain even worse. This is why, with a growing obesity epidemic in the U.S., finding ways for people to get on track with weight loss help and physical activity can help ease a variety of health issues, including arthritis.
Strengthening the muscles around your joints is key to alleviate those dull aches and annoying pressure. Walking is definitely a great idea to get you started in easing your arthritic pain, even if you suffer from bad knees and/or feet. However, there are many low-impact options you can try to get moving.
Swimming: If you would rather go for no impact rather than low impact, swimming is an excellent option for your arthritic joints. It is also one of the best exercises for calorie burning, as you are using your entire body to glide through the water. Swimming is also excellent for building lean muscle and improving your range of motion, which is also very beneficial for your joints.
Water-based aerobics: While the thought of aerobics - with all of the stepping and sliding - may make arthritic patients cringe, bringing the same exercises into water can actually result in little to no joint pain since you are completely lightweight.
Biking: Because you are putting all of your body weight on the machine, biking is a wonderful way to fit in exercise. It is also easy to do and can fit in with your lifestyle. You don't have to start training for the Tour de France, either: Try biking to work or run errands in town, you can check off a few things on your to-do list and get some exercise in the meantime.
Yoga: Johns Hopkins University has determined that yoga could be an excellent way to alleviate arthritis symptoms, increase wellbeing and fit in exercise.