How This Helps
Arthritis is characterized by chronic inflammation in the joints. Osteoarthritis (OA) is brought on by the degeneration of cartilage through mechanical wear and tear. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the inflammation is caused by the body’s own immune system. However, regardless of arthritis you suffer with, both resistance and aerobic exercise will help reduce inflammation and possibly help reduce pain. The key for arthritis sufferers is to choose exercises that are low impact and easy on the joints.
For arthritis patients looking to begin an exercise, the best place to start is in the pool! The pool offers a low impact, safe environment and offsets the fall risk that those suffering from joint pain often encounter. Begin simply by walking laps back and forth at a comfortable pace. The key when starting out is simply to get the joints moving again. When walking becomes less challenging, try high knees and butt kickers:
1. Stand in place and lift your knee past your hip or as high as you can lift it
2. Hold for 2 seconds
3. Switch to the other knee
4. Aim for 5 to 10 reps on each knee