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Exercise can be the last thing you want to do when in pain from your arthritis. However, exercising is one of the best ways of keeping pain at bay. Our Exercise and Arthritis booklet contains more information. The other benefits of exercise include:
The right kind of exercise will not make your arthritis any worse. In fact, exercising helps you lose weight, which means less strain on your joints. It is important not to overstrain yourself while you are exercising, and to gently stretch before and after exercise. You can still exercise during a flare up although your workouts should be gentle.
Your doctor or a physiotherapist can help you to pick an exercise programme to suit you. A physiotherapist will advise you on the best exercises after assessing your joints and muscles.
It is usual to feel some pain as your muscles get used to being exercised. Seek advice from your doctor if you feel pain in the joint itself or if the pain continues for more than two hours after finishing exercising as this might be a sign you have overdone it.
A good exercise programme will incorporate three types of exercise: range of movement, strengthening and aerobic exercises.
People with arthritis seem to benefit from the following types of aerobic exercise:
Keeping active does not mean you have to spend hours at the gym. There are many simple ways of incorporating exercise into your daily lifestyle.
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