Activa Physical Therapy: More Movement, More Energy

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Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Of course, when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem overwhelming. But you don't need to run a marathon or swim as fast as an Olympic competitor to help reduce arthritis symptoms. Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight. When arthritis threatens to immobilize you, exercise keeps you moving. Not convinced? Read on. WHY EXERCISE IS VITAL Exercise can help you improve your health and fitness without hurting your joints. With your current treatment program, exercise can: • Strengthen the muscles around your joints • Help you maintain bone strength • Give you more energy • Make it easier to get a good night's sleep

That's because keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints. CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST: Talk to your doctor about fitting exercise into your treatment plan. What types of exercises are best for you depends on your type of arthritis and which joints are involved. Your doctor or a physical therapist can work with you to find the exercise plan that gives you the most benefit with the least aggravation of your joint pain. EXERCISES FOR ARTHRITIS Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend exercises for you, which might include range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises, aerobic exercise and other activities .

• Range-of-motion exercises • Strengthening exercises • Aerobic exercise • Moderate intensity aerobic exercise • Body awareness exercises

• Help you control your weight • Enhance your quality of life • Improve your balance

Though youmight think exercise will aggravate your joint pain and stiffness, that's not the case. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff.

Source: arthritis/in-depth/arthritis/art-20047971

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