People often associate arthritis with older folks, but in reality, people of all ages can get arthritis. Even athletes!
In fact, as an athlete, you may participate in high-impact sports that aren’t the greatest for your joints. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up the gym!
Read on to learn more about exercising safely with arthritis.
Always warm up and cool down.
Warming up and cooling down are important steps to anybody’s exercise regimen, but it may be especially important to people with arthritis. Warming up and cooling down can help prevent injuries that may prevent you from exercising at all.
Also, don’t forget to stretch, especially your hamstrings! A tight, un-stretched hamstring can be harmful to your pelvis and knees.
Remember to take your meds.
This may come as a no-brainer, but many people neglect to take their medications or avoid them altogether. Taking arthritis medication may seem “weak” to some, but don’t let this mindset get to you. If you’ve been prescribed something, this means you have a legitimate medical condition that makes it a little harder for you to work out.
If it’s money that’s causing you stress, you can access arthritis medicine like CELEBREX® online, shipped from licensed pharmacies in countries with lower prices. You can do this by visiting a website that connects patients to an international and Canadian Pharmacy.
Work hard, but not too hard.
If you find yourself short of breath during exercise, this may mean you are in an anaerobic state, which means not enough oxygen is getting into your body. This can cause joint and tissue pain.
To prevent this, first, find your target heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Next, aim for 40-70% of that rate. Working too hard can be painful, and as long as you get above 40% of your target heart rate, you can reap the benefits of exercise.
Listen to your body.
Pushing through the pain may seem like an admirable feat, but sometimes it can do more harm than good. Learn to pay attention to your body and know when to take a break. The Arthritis Foundation shares these tips:
- If your joints hurt more two hours after exercising, you’ve worked too hard. Go easier next time.
- Being able to talk but not sing is a good indicator that you’re at a good level of cardio.
- If you can do two sets of 10 repetitions, in good form, of a weight-lifting exercise, you’re working out at an appropriate intensity.
- If you don’t need a break after these 2×10 repetitions, increase the weight.
When in doubt, find an expert.
For sports like yoga and weightlifting, it may be smart to find an experienced expert to guide you, at least when you’re just starting out. Exercising with improper form can lead to pain and injury, and injuries can render you incapable of exercising for an extended period. Plus, an expert can help you get the most out of your routine.
Remember, exercising is good for arthritis.
It may seem counterintuitive, but physical activity is actually beneficial for people with arthritis. Giving your joints the opportunity to move through their full range of motion can improve flexibility and reduce stiffness. Exercise can also help people lose weight, and with less weight on your joints, you will experience less pain. Exercise may also help patients with osteoarthritis delay hip replacement surgery.
However, safety should always come first.
It’s a good idea to check in with your doctor about arthritis and working out. Your doctor will be able to provide you with more expert advice on how to exercise properly and reduce pain.
Finally, as mentioned before, learn to listen to your body. Work hard, but don’t overwork yourself!