Exercise can be an effective way of dealing with arthritis symptoms
MYTH 1 YOU CAN’T EXERCISE
If you have arthritis, the right fitness programme could help you get relief from your symptoms by improving strength, flexibility and range of motion.
TIP Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. Dust off your bike, buy a new bathing suit, start strength training – get moving in ways that bring you happiness.
MYTH 2 EXERCISE PRODUCES JOINT PAIN
The more sedentary you are, the more things are going to hurt. Exercise helps by building strength and flexibility and controlling weight. One less kilogram on the scale equals four kilograms less pressure on your knees. To keep your body happy, especially when you’re starting out, alternate easy
days with more challenging days. Swim or use an exercise bike when pain is more bothersome.
TIP To help with painful, swollen knees, wear a brace. Stiffness could be a sign you need to start moving to lubricate your joints. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting an exercise regime.
MYTH 3 PAIN IS ALWAYS A BAD THING
It’s better to regard pain as a signal to pay attention. Pain relievers can help relieve soreness after exercise; taking them beforehand may mask the instructive sensation you need to feel so you can judge when to stop.
TIP Stop what you’re doing if joint pain increases after five or ten minutes. Burning discomfort in the muscles, however, is a good thing.
MYTH 4 EXERCISE PUTS JOINTS AT RISK
Exercise strengthens jointsupporting muscles and increases flexibility, which all improve quality of life.
TIP Studies show weight-bearing exercise– walking, jogging or lifting weights – produces the healthiest knee cartilage. If sore joints are impeding your workout, you can still head for the pool, where you can jog, squat and do lunges in the water.
MYTH 5 FOLLOW A RESTRICTIVE REGIME
Low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling and walking are excellent options. Listen to your joints and make appropriate modifications.
TIP As a rule, walk, don’t run if you have osteoarthritis, and avoid highimpact, twisting racquet sports.