Category Archives: Exercise

Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast: Episode 4 – You Want Me to Exercise?

You should exercise. Sound familiar? I know. I hear you loud and clear. You woke up this morning in pain. Trying to muster enough energy to even get out of bed felt impossible. And getting ready for your day felt like you just ran a 5K. I get it. I have arthritis, too, and I know what you’re thinking. “Wait, didn’t I just wake up? I should have more energy than this! What did I do in my sleep to feel this exhausted? Oh, that’s right. I didn’t sleep well. My ‘pain-somnia’ kept me from getting any good sleep. So now you’re telling me to go exercise? Ugh. That’s supposed to help my arthritis pain?”The short answer: YES! The truth is, an ever-growing body of research shows exercise is one of the best ways to treat our arthritis. But for those of us living with it 24/7, it can be one of the last things we want or even feel able to do. Been there, done that, going through it all over again. As a patient, I know how hard it is to get moving when I have pain. As an occupational therapist, I know how hard it is to get someone motivated to get moving, and I understand how staying physically active can make a huge difference to our health.

Continue reading Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast: Episode 4 – You Want Me to Exercise?

Best Foods to Eat Before, During and After Your Exercise Routine

Want to make the most of your workout? Fuel up with the right foods. “What you eat and drink can affect how you feel and how quickly you recover,” says Sonya Angelone, a San Franciscobased registered dietitian who works with athletes. Here’s her advice on what to have before, during and after exercise.  Continue reading Best Foods to Eat Before, During and After Your Exercise Routine

What You Should Know About the Latest Fitness Fad: Stretching Gyms

While stretching is an important part of any workout, fitness studios known as stretching gyms make it the focus. Stretching instructors help lengthen and loosen muscles, either working one-on-one with clients and physically adding gentle pressure to deepen stretches, or by guiding a class through a series of stretches with props, such as foam rollers and bands. 

“There’s no question that stretching benefits people with arthritis,” says Cory Feger, a physical therapist in Louisville, Kentucky. “It improves range of motion, lubricates joints and increases blood flow to muscles.” But are these new gyms and classes safe for people with arthritis? While they can be useful, Feger recommends proceeding with caution. Here’s how: 

  1. ASK INSTRUCTORS ABOUT THEIR QUALIFICATIONS. What’s their background and experience working with people who have arthritis? Many instructors are personal trainers, massage therapists or yoga instructors but may not have experience with arthritis or chronic pain patients. 
  2. ALWAYS WARM UP FIRST. This allows deeper stretches for a longer period of time and decreases the risk of injury. Get moving with light exercise, such as walking. Or do dynamic stretches, such as leg swings and arm circles, which prepare your body for specific movements. 
  3. GO AT YOUR OWN PACE. Don’t try to keep up with everyone else in a class. “You don’t want to overdo it,” says Julie Jasontek, a physical therapist and supervisor of rehabilitation services at Mercy Health in Cincinnati. This may lead to an injury, such as a strained muscle. 
  4. AVOID BOUNCING. To lengthen muscle fibers and increase flexibility, hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, then releasand repeat. These are called static stretches. 
  5. DO STATIC STRETCHES AFTER WORKING OUT. After exercise, muscles are warmed up. Stretching also boosts circulation. As part of a cooldown, it also lowers your heart rate, which may help aid recovery. 
  6.  DON’T PUSH TOO HARD. Mild discomfort is normal, but stop if you feel a sharp or intense pain. 
  7. MAKE IT A REGULAR HABIT. To increase flexibility, stretch at least five times a week. 

 Related Resources:

 

Weight Loss spelled out in alphabet blocks

HOW SHEDDING SOME POUNDS HELPS ARTHRITIS

You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: One of the best things you can do for arthritis is to lose excess weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control, two out of three adults with arthritis are overweight or obese. Research shows that while diet and exercise combined are most effective for dropping pounds, dieting alone helps more than exercise alone. No one’s saying it’s easy, but evidence shows it pays off. Here’s how it can help.  Continue reading HOW SHEDDING SOME POUNDS HELPS ARTHRITIS

Reminder to diet and exercise on small chalkboard with dumbbell

How Shedding Pounds Eases Arthritis Symptoms

You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: One of the best things you can do for arthritis is to lose excess weight. Research shows that while diet and exercise combined are most effective for dropping pounds, dieting alone helps more than exercise alone. No one’s saying it’s easy, but evidence shows it pays off. Here’s how it can help. Continue reading How Shedding Pounds Eases Arthritis Symptoms