Exercise And Arthritis: Exercise is Medicine!

By Dane Larsen, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation

Why exercise? Exercise is one of the most economical and readily available treatments for people with arthritis. In fact, exercise is considered the most effective non-drug treatment for the pain associated with arthritis.  

Regular exercise can:

  • Reduce joint pain;
  • Improve joint range of motion;
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Assist in weight management
  • Improve balance and physical functioning; and
  • Improve your overall wellbeing.

To achieve these outcomes, a holistic approach to exercise that encompasses strength training, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and mobility activities is best.

It is recommended that exercise programs be individually tailored by an accredited exercise physiologist2. This will ensure that any exercise you undertake is appropriate for the type of arthritis you have, the areas of your body it affects, and any other health concerns you may have.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that those with chronic conditions (such as arthritis) should accumulate a minimum of 150 mins of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, and at least 2 days a week of flexibility and muscle strengthening activities2. However, remember something is better than nothing, so if you are just starting out, begin with smaller increments and gradually build from there!  

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Dane Larsen is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation located in Woolloongabba, Brisbane.  

For further information about exercise, arthritis and you or to book in to see Dane for an individualised program contact Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation (07) 3310 4969.

References:

  1. Exercise is Medicine Australia: Arthritis Factsheet, May 2014

  2. ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons With Chronic Diseases and Disabilities, 2016
 

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