Exercise and arthritis
The thought of exercising when you have arthritis may be off-putting, but it is important to stay active to keep joints moving and reduce stiffness, increase muscle strength, and gain more energy.
Exercise will also help you maintain a healthy weight, putting less pressure on your joints. It can also stimulate the body to release endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can give you the ‘feel good factor’.
Activities that seem to be beneficial for those who have arthritis include walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, yoga and pilates. However, always:
- check with a doctor before beginning a new exercise, especially if you have moderate to severe arthritis, a heart condition or high blood pressure
- do suitable warm up and cool down exercises to reduce the risk of overstraining
- if an exercise gives you a sharp pain, especially in the joint itself, stop doing it immediately and before trying that particular exercise again, check with a doctor or physiotherapist
A form of moderate exercise that is not too physically demanding is walking. Our Community Map will show a range of walks and walking groups in the local area.