Exercise And Arthritis: Exercise is Medicine!

By Dane Larsen, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation, 2017

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!  


Exercise is Medicine Australia: Arthritis Factsheet, May 2014
ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons With Chronic Diseases and Disabilities, 2016


How can we help? 


Always talk to your doctor and/or health professional before starting an exercise program. A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can suggest safe exercises and make sure you are doing your exercises correctly.

You can make a difference by supporting the work of Arthritis Queensland. Arthritis Queensland is 95% community funded. We rely on our generous donors and volunteers to ensure that we can continue to provide solutions and support to adults and children living with the pain of arthritis.