We have long known the importance of exercise in the treatment of arthritis. Whilst the thought of having to make oneself active isn’t always pleasant we have been told over and over of the benefits. Now recent research and clinical trials are confirming this. John Hopkins University offers some helpful information.
- Regular exercise can help keep the muscles around the joints strong, decrease bone loss and help control joint swelling and pain.
- Strengthening the muscles surrounding affected joints helps to relieve pressure on the joint and cartilage.
- Regular exercise helps replenish lubrication of the cartilage of the joint and reduces stiffness and pain.
- Lack of physical activity is associated with increased muscle weakness, joint stiffness, reduced range of motion, fatigue and general econditioning.
- Exercise needs to be directed at the entire body and not just the joints that are affected with arthritis.
- The therapeutic importance of exercise and physical activity in the management of arthritis is not always recognised
It is true that exercise not only helps to improve our ability to move more freely but can make us feel better generally. Sometimes we are encouraged to be more active when we discover how much better we feel as a result. The feeling of relaxation and general wellbeing and the thought of remaining independent longer and improving our quality of life generally, in spite of our aches and pains, is often just the incentive we need.
As winter and wet weather approaches, walking outdoors and gardening often become less appealing and on some days it is not as easy to exercise the entire body as it was in summer months. So it is worthwhile to look at indoor options which can help to keep our muscles moving to help support and protect those arthritic joints.
Whilst there are many options and many different types of exercise equipment available, one easy way is to use the Aircycle exerciser while you are sitting enjoying a cup of tea, chatting on the phone, reading the paper, watching TV or even while out in the car. It is so convenient and easy to use anywhere.
Arthritis New Zealand receives $5 from each Aircycle ordered via their website: www.arthritis.org.nz