Ruth asks This Morning doctor about milk helping arthritis
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No matter where your starting point is, it’s really important to stay active when you have arthritis. From walking and stretching to more advanced exercises, there are activities for every skill level to help strengthen your muscles and relieve pain. Here are five of the best exercises for people with arthritis.
There are a number of different types of arthritis, a painful condition affecting the joints and restricting your movement.
If you have arthritis, there may be times when you have to take it easy, such as while having a flare-up of symptoms.
Make sure you take time to rest if you need it, and take exercise at your own pace – particularly if it’s new to you.
Speaking to your doctor about any concerns you may have might help you create an exercise plan that works for you.
However, gentle exercise and staying active can help to keep your joints moving, and strengthen the muscles around them which in turn takes some of the pressure off the joint itself.
These are five of the best exercises for arthritis – for all abilities.
Chair yoga – Easy
If you’re new to exercising, doing some stretches you can do while seated will help you to improve your range of movement without even having to stand.
Start by stretching your arms above you and to the side.
Try to touch your toes from a seated position – it doesn’t matter if you can’t make it yet.
If you can, hold each stretch for 10 seconds.
Once you can hold a stretch for 10 seconds, try to increase the hold to 20 and then 30 seconds.
Walking – Easy
Walking is a really easy way to stay active.
If you don’t feel up to long walks yet, you can start by just walking around your block, or even your garden.
As time goes by, try to do longer distances, and begin to pick up the pace of your walks.
When your fitness levels improve, you could turn your walk into a jog.
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Swimming – Moderate
Many people with arthritis enjoy swimming or water aerobics as a form of exercise, because being in water supports your joints.
Even walking from one side of the pool to the other might be more comfortable than walking on a pavement.
Water aerobics classes can help you improve your strength and flexibility, while swimming is an excellent way to work on your cardiovascular fitness.
Pilates – Moderate
Pilates is a type of exercise focusing on strengthening your muscles and improving your flexibility.
This could be a bit more challenging for some people, so take it at your own pace.
Weight lifting – Moderate to high intensity
Weight lifting – also known as resistance training – is an excellent way to strengthen your muscles while improving mobility.
If you’re new to weight lifting you might need a personal trainer at your gym to introduce you to the equipment and teach you some exercises.
Form is everything when it comes to heavy weights so performing exercises correctly is crucial to ensure you don’t injure yourself.
You can start with lighter weights, and as your fitness progresses move on to some heavier lifts and more challenging exercises.
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