Although exercise may seem contraindicated if you have arthritis, any type of physical activity may lessen joint stiffness and joint pain. Here are some low-impact exercises recommended for those having arthritis:
Good news! Even a modest amount of exercise at any intensity level can have beneficial effects for your health. Some of the benefits can occur over a short period of time (i.e., reduced blood pressure, lessened anxiety, increased insulin sensitivity, decreased blood cholesterol, better sleep, improved cognition, etc.). Other benefits can be accrued over a longer period of time (i.e., lowered risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, dementia, depression, stronger bones, and certain cancers such as bladder, breast and colon cancer). Substantial health benefits are most likely to occur after exercising at least 150 minutes per week at moderate intensity (i.e., brisk walking, dancing, biking, etc.) or 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity (i.e., running, tennis, swimming, etc.). To gauge intensity level, use the "talk test": moderate intensity you would be able to speak in complete sentences; vigorous intensity you would only be able to speak in fragments.
BOTTOM LINE: Any exercise will cause significant health benefits compared to being sedentary. Any physical activity at any intensity is better than no activity. Moreover, short bouts of exercise (i.e., 10 minutes) will be beneficial. Words of wisdom: choose fun activities so that it will not feel like exercise.
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.