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How Your Workouts Should Change When You Have Arthritis

When you have arthritis, tasks and activities that once seemed simple suddenly add a layer of challenge. The joint pain and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, and other types might motivate you to reduce movements and activities to avoid increasing symptoms and uncomfortable swelling. 

Contrary to many people’s assumptions, exercise can actually decrease arthritis symptoms and improve function by about 40% if you go about it properly. Our team of expert physical therapists at Crom Rehabilitation in Houston and Pearland, Texas, can train you with conducive exercises for arthritis improvement and pain management through personalized physical therapy

Low-impact is key

High-impact activities are typically unfavorable for those with arthritis because of the increased stress on your joints, which can aggravate your symptoms instead of improving them. While developing your arthritis-friendly exercise routine, opt for low-impact aerobic options that don’t heavily rely on functional joints. 

Some enjoyable aerobics you can include in a consistent exercise routine with arthritis are:

Water sports are a great place to start if you’re looking for low-impact activities that don’t stress your arthritic joints. That’s why our physical therapists at Crom Rehabilitation often use aquatic therapy as a low-impact form of physical therapy. The added pressure and buoyancy of the water make movements easier on your joints while helping you build strength and improve your mobility.  

Set and meet a weekly quota

Consistency is very important to improve your arthritis symptoms with gentle exercise. While your physical therapist can advise you on how much exercise is appropriate within your week based on your age and your arthritis progression, it’s a good rule of thumb to aim for around 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise like brisk walking or yoga.

Don’t have much time for exercise? You can still exercise for arthritis with a lower time commitment by upping the intensity of your workouts. Choosing options like fast swimming or cycling means getting similar benefits with just 75 minutes per week. 

Still, some exercise is always better than none. Even if you have to build up to your ideal amount of arthritis-friendly exercise, a small amount is far better than spending all your leisure time in bed or on the couch. You should anticipate a little extra joint discomfort, swelling, or stiffness when you initially start any new workout routine. 

Start working out with personalized recommendations today

Exercising with arthritis can reduce your need for medications, injections, surgeries, and other clinical treatments. Call either of our Texas offices today to learn how to change your workouts to be arthritis-friendly, or book an appointment online at Crom Rehabilitation.

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