Arthritis, with its joint pain and stiffness, affects over 350 million people globally and is a leading cause of disability. Yet, there’s a myth that exercise could make it worse. Let’s bust that myth right away!
Exercise is actually your ally in managing arthritis. As the Mayo Clinic emphatically states, “Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis.”
- When you’re strong and flexible, you move easier, with less stiffness.
- Contrary to what you might think, exercise reduces joint pain and fatigue. Regular activity replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint. And stronger muscles protect your joints.
- Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, reducing the pressure put on joints.
- Exercise is important for bone density, with strength training especially so. This also protects from fractures.
- Arthritis often coexists with other health issues like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, highlighting the importance of managing it effectively.
Here’s the bottom line: Exercise is not your enemy! In fact, it’s a powerful tool in the fight against arthritis. It strengthens muscles, improves bone health, boosts energy, and enhances balance. By staying active, you reclaim your health, mobility, and a better quality of life.
Arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability. But exercise is your secret weapon for a more active and fulfilling life now and in the future.
Sources: Global RA Network, The Arthritis Foundation, Mayo Clinic
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.