Tag Archives: arthritis exercises

safe yoga exercise tips

Get the Rewards of Yoga Without the Risks

From easing pain to boosting flexibility, yoga has a long list of benefits for people with arthritis.

“Yoga is as safe as walking when it’s done properly,” says Steffany Moonaz, PhD, founder of Yoga for Arthritis and a research director at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

However, many people do poses incorrectly or without proper support. In fact, a recent study revealed that nearly 11 percent of people who did yoga experienced pain at some point as a result, and 1 in 5 said yoga made an existing injury worse. Stay safe with these simple tips.

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goal setting workouts

Use Goal Setting to Motivate Your Arthritis Workout

You might exercise to improve function, gain strength or slim down. Whatever your reason, “setting a goal can give you focus, confidence and motivation,” says Hannah J. Bennett, a physical therapist with Baylor Scott & White Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in Round Rock, Texas.

But how can you tell if your workouts are working? The key is making realistic and specific milestones. “Check your progress regularly,” says Bennett. Seeing results can provide motivation – or signal that it’s time to switch things up. Here are four common fitness goals and how to track them.

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arthritis workout moves on the go

Arthritis Workout Moves On-the-Go

Whether by plane, train or car, travel can be a pain – literally. Especially if you have inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis. Less oxygen and nutrients reach your joints, which contributes to pain and stiffness. “Sitting for long stretches slows your circulation,” says Lisa M. Higginbotham, an occupational therapist and clinical rehab manager at a Cleveland Clinic hospital in Ohio.

Sluggish circulation also raises the risk for swelling and potentially dangerous blood clots, she adds. Moving at least every hour keeps joints mobile. Plus, “contracting your muscles pumps blood back to the heart,” says Eric Robertson, PT, director of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Graduate Physical Therapy Education. These moves done while seated can also help:

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arthritis hip and knee pain

Don’t Let Knee or Hip Pain Make You Unsteady

Research shows that people with knee pain have a 25% greater risk of falling than people without pain. It’s also been found that one in three older adults falls each year.  Falls can result in severe injuries, such as hip fractures.

To reduce your risk of falling, improve your balance with exercises that build strength and flexibility, says rheumatologist Rob Keenan, MD, at Duke Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. Improving your response time – that is, how quickly you react to stop yourself from falling – also can help, explains Alexander Aruin, PhD, a professor of physical therapy and bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Here are four ways to improve your balance and response time.

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arthritis hula hooping

Mix Up Your Arthritis Workout With Hula Hooping

The popular childhood pastime hula hooping is back as a hot fitness trend. The workouts use heavier hoops – weighing one to five pounds – in fun routines set to music, says Joanne Wu, MD, a physical rehabilitation physician at Unity Spine Center in Rochester, New York, and owner of a wellness consulting company.

Although people with balance disorders shouldn’t try hula-hooping, the exercise is a gentle way to strengthen the core. In fact, Dr. Wu recommends it for her spine patients. “Hooping itself is a low-impact exercise that’s gentle on the joints,” says Dr. Wu. “It builds balance and strength, especially in the core and legs.”

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Activity for Arthritis

Two Minutes of Activity an Hour To Live Longer

Standing up and walking around for just two minutes every hour may help you live longer. That’s good news as evidence continues to mount that prolonged sitting shortens longevity and further increases the risk for several chronic conditions that commonly occur with arthritis, including diabetes, kidney problems, obesity and heart disease.

Researchers looked at data from devices that gauge activity levels worn daily for up to a week by 3,626 people in a national health survey. They measured how much time each day participants spent in sedentary and in various low-intensity activities (such as standing) and light-intensity activities (such as walking casually) and moderate to vigorous exercise (such as brisk walking or lifting weights).
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