Tips for Working Out With Arthritis

Tips for Working Out With Arthritis

When your joints hurt, working out is probably the last thing on your mind. But did you know that exercising regularly can reduce arthritis pain and help you feel better?

It’s true! Exercise is one of the best ways to fight the symptoms of arthritis and boost your energy levels — but it’s essential to learn how to exercise safely.

Brian Lamkin, DO, and our team at The Lamkin Clinic believe in the importance of exercise, and we work with our arthritis patients to help them find workouts that feel good and fit their lifestyles. Read on to get our tips for exercising safely with arthritis.

Choose low-impact activities

Some activities are harder on your joints than others. Running and jumping are high-impact — they put extra stress on your joints with every step, and they may not be the best option for people with arthritis.

Instead, choose low-impact activities like walking, cycling, strength training, water aerobics, and swimming. These workouts still give you all the benefits of exercise, but they are gentler on your joints.

Start slowly and build endurance over time

Whether you work out regularly or haven’t exercised in a while, take it slow. Never jump into a new workout routine without building up to it first. Increase your endurance by gradually exercising for longer periods.

When you work out, focus on making slow, fluid movements that don’t jar your joints. Remember that arthritis pain can change from day to day. If you notice more pain on certain days, don’t be afraid to modify your workout routine and give yourself a break.

Incorporate stretches into your routine

Inflammation and swelling can limit your range of motion when you have arthritis. Gentle stretches help you regain and maintain your range of motion so that you can move more comfortably.

Dr. Lamkin often recommends spending 5-10 minutes doing gentle stretches before a workout to warm up your joints. He and our team can recommend specific range-of-motion exercises for your joints and the types of workouts you like to do. 

Know when to take breaks

It’s crucial to listen to your body when you’re exercising. Don’t push too hard or overdo your workouts because you could risk injuring yourself. If you notice pain worse than your usual joint pain, stop what you’re doing and take a break.

When your workout is over, follow it with more stretching to cool your body down slowly. Consider icing your joints for up to 20 minutes after exercising to help reduce joint swelling and pain.

Talk to your arthritis care team

Before starting an arthritis exercise plan, talk to your arthritis health care team. We can help you find safe activities for your joints and recommend complementary lifestyle changes to help you manage your arthritis.

Dr. Lamkin takes a holistic approach to arthritis treatment, and staying active is just one part of the plan. He may suggest dietary changes or nutritional supplements reduce joint inflammation. Physical therapy can improve strength and flexibility. Medical weight loss management can help you achieve a healthier weight and take extra pressure off painful joints.

Living an active life with arthritis is possible, and we want to help you get there. Schedule a consultation to get personalized arthritis exercise recommendations. Call The Lamkin Clinic at 405-285-4762 or request an appointment online.

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