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3 Exercise Types for People with Arthritis

Lifestyle & Wellness | Facebook Live Recap | School of Muscular Health

24% of American adults are dealing with arthritis. This is a common disease, and it's becoming more common. So if you have arthritis, exercising can be a challenge. What types of exercise should you focus on?

1. Smooth Movements

The first type of exercise is a smooth, mindful movement. The types of exercise in this category could be Pilates, yoga, Tai chi, or qigong.

You are moving smoothly. Joints are moving a little bit more through their range of motion, obviously not all the way to the end of their range of motion if that's uncomfortable for you, but more than typical.

You can do these at home by watching a YouTube video. A lot of gyms will offer Tai chi or yoga. You can find a Pilates studio. There's mat Pilates, there's reformer Pilates, a lot of different options for this, but smooth movements can be really beneficial for someone who is dealing with arthritis.

2. Resistance Training

The second category is resistance training. A lot of times when we think of resistance training, we think of jerky movements and really fighting the weight. You think of Olympic lifting as they do in the Olympics, the clean and jerk, the snatch, or you think of powerlifting, the deadlift, the squat, the bench press. This can be very jerky.

This is not necessarily recommended for someone dealing with arthritis, but in that same category of resistance training is basic resistance training where you're moving smoothly.

There's slow strength, which is becoming very popular, where you're lifting the weight for five or more seconds and then a nice pause and then lowering the weight for five or more seconds. This is very unique. If you do try this, it'll probably feel very weird.

Or you can do basic resistance training, where it's more of a one-second lifting tempo followed by a one-second lowering tempo.

As long as the joint is moving smoothly, this will probably be very beneficial for someone who is dealing with arthritis.

3. Cardiovascular Exercise

The last category of exercise we're going to talk about is cardiovascular exercise. You can think of walking either outside or on a treadmill, using an elliptical machine, using a rower machine, or using a treadmill inside or on a bicycle outside or inside.  These are excellent.

This will keep the joints moving, which increases the the ability of the synovial fluid in the joints to do what it is supposed to do and cushion the joints. And it'll also get the heart rate up, which pays lots of dividends in lots of different ways when you keep that heart rate above your normal level, smoothly breathing of course, for an extended period of time.

Always remember, the best exercise is the exercise that is pain free and enjoyable so that you do a lot of it and you enjoy it.


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