Oct 31, 2016
Physical Activity, Exercise and Arthritis
If ever there were a perfect excuse not to exercise, arthritis pain would seem to be it. In fact, research shows quite the opposite. A properly designed exercise program may not only decrease your pain, but may also increase your flexibility and overall fitness - and it can do wonders for your state of mind.
Physical activity refers to activities that are a part of everyday life. They include household, workplace, and lifestyle activities that can help you become more active. Exercise is a type of physical activity that uses exertion to improve physical fitness. Exercise is one part of your treatment program over which you can assert control. It's a chance to confront arthritis directly and maybe reclaim some favorite activities the disease has made difficult for you - and discover some new ones, too.
Did you know?
The MANY benefits of exercise
Did you know you're 'feeding' your joints when you're active? Cartilage depends on joint movement to absorb nutrients and remove waste. Cartilage, ligaments and bone also become stronger and more resilient with regular exercise. Physical activity and exercise actually help keep joints healthy and provide numerous benefits including decreased pain, increased muscle strength and endurance, increased bone strength, improved sleep, decreased risk of falls and so much more!
The importance of maintaining a healthy body weight
Just 10 pounds of excess weight can put you at greater risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA) in your knees. Did you know that losing 10 pounds of excess weight decreases stress on your knees by 40 pounds? By increasing physical activity and exercise, you can make a difference to your joints and overall health.
You can reduce your risk to other chronic diseases
Perhaps, most importantly, people with arthritis need to include activity and exercise in their daily life, in order to help reduce their risk of developing other chronic disease. There is strong scientific evidence that exercise can decrease the risk of developing certain disabilities and a number of chronic conditions such as:
-Heart disease & stroke
-Lung disease (COPD)
-Circulatory problems (peripheral vascular disease)
-Diabetes (type 2)
-High blood pressure
About the Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program (AREP)
The Arthritis Society offers client based programs and services for those living with arthritis in Ontario via the Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program (AREP). Our physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers have advanced training in the management of arthritis. They are available to assess and provide a variety of services and ideas to help people of all ages living with arthritis (at no cost). For more information, call 519.433.2191.
REMEMBER: When you have arthritis always consult with your health-care provider before starting any new physical activity and/ or exercise routine.
The Arthritis Society has been setting lives “in motion” for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing over $190 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis.
For more information and resources on arthritis, physical activity and exercise, visit www.arthritis.ca.
Keep up to date with the latest in research, special events and patient support by joining the conversation on:
Rochelle Ten Haaf RTenHaaf@arthritis.ca