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This Month In Body
  • Exercise Smarts
    Maybe you’ve reached a weight loss plateau or perhaps you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for. Whatever the case, there are always things you can do to improve your workouts. Here are a few ideas to get started. Read >>
  • Make It Worth It
    Your time is valuable, so don’t waste it on ineffective workouts that provide little if any results. Choose from one of the following options for the highest odds of reaching your weight loss goals in the least amount of time. Read >>
  • Easy on the Joints
    While many living with arthritis fear that physical activity may worsen their pain, physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve the stiffness and inflammation of arthritis, fight fatigue, and increase strength and range of motion. Read >>
  • Mommy-To-Be Exercises
    A growing belly, aching back, or upset stomach make for easy excuses when exercise isn’t a priority. While you may feel like putting your feet up, you’d do you and your baby favors by including regular exercise as part of your prenatal health plan. Read >>
Health and Fitness News
Chandra Young is now a professional Fitness Trainer

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Easy on the Joints

Find the right exercise to ease the pain of your arthritis.

Did you know there are more than 100 types of arthritis? This condition, which can affect anyone at any age, causes joint pain, swelling, tenderness, decreased range of motion, and stiffness. With symptoms like these, it’s no wonder someone with arthritis may not feel like exercising. After all, if healthy people can find excuses not to exercise, people with arthritis have a variety of seemingly legitimate reasons to stay off the treadmill.

While many living with arthritis fear that physical activity may worsen their pain, physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve the stiffness and inflammation of arthritis, fight fatigue, and increase strength and range of motion. In fact, keeping the muscles and tissue that surround joints strong is crucial for managing the condition, and exercise is the only way to do it. If you have arthritis, exercise should be part of your treatment plan.

However, not all forms of exercises are recommended for those with arthritis, so work with your doctor or physical therapist to develop a workout routine that includes the best options for you.

Cardio Exercise

Aerobic (cardio) exercises work to strengthen the heart and lungs. When these organs are working efficiently, you have more energy and endurance. Cardio is also good for weight loss, which reduces pressure on achy joints.

Just be picky about what type of cardio workouts you do. When living with arthritis, you want low-impact exercises that don’t require jumping, jerky movements, or pounding your feet on hard surfaces. Examples of low-impact, arthritis-friendly cardio workouts include walking, swimming, aquatic exercises, cycling, or the elliptical machine.

Strength Training

A second component of a balanced workout routine is strength training. Building and maintaining muscle strength helps support painful, stiff joints. Strength-training exercises can be done with your own bodyweight, free weights, resistance bands, or exercise ball.

When getting into strength training, a few modifications may need to be made to accommodate for your arthritis. When full-range motions are painful, plan to only do partial movements. Instead of doing a full squat, only bend your knees part of the way. If the joints in your hands are painful, wear gloves or use weightlifting straps. Joint-friendly weight lifting guidelines recommend lifting lighter weights with higher repetitions rather than fewer repetitions of greater weights.

Beginners should start with movements only, and then gradually add weight and repetitions.

Flexibility Exercises

Because arthritis can limit your range of motion, flexibility and range-of-motion exercises are especially important. Gentle, slow stretches and movements that gradually stretch joints to their full potential work to reduce the stiffness and tightness you feel. Gentle and slow are key words. Never stretch to the point of pain.

Plan on 5 to 10 minutes of flexibility exercises each day. Develop a routine that stretches each major muscle group. To make sure you work your whole body, start with your neck and work down to your shoulders, chest, back, arms, abs, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.


It’s vital that you not forget about balance exercises, particularly as you grow older. With these types of exercises, you’re less likely to suffer a fall, your posture will improve, and you learn relaxation techniques. Yoga and tai chi are two types of exercises designed with these purposes in mind. You can also practice balancing on one foot, walking down a straight line, or walking heel to toe.