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The Facts Put Simply

How You Can Improve Your Lifestyle Through Exercise.

As it relates to arthritis exercise; a daily routine has been shown to reduce joint pain and stiffness, while increasing arthritis patients flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance.

“Regular, moderate physical activity is beneficial in decreasing fatigue, strengthening muscles and bones, increasing flexibility and stamina, and improving an overall sense of well-being.” Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health

Subject matter Quick Links for this page…

1) Arthritis exercise offers many additional benefits.
2) What happens if you don't exercise?
3) What type of arthritis exercise program should you engage in?
4) Important guidelines for all exercise
5) Additional Authoritative Health & Wellness resources

Arthritis exercise has many additional benefits

It helps to:

• Keep joints moving
• Strengthen muscles around the joints
• Strengthen and maintain bone and cartilage tissue
• Improve overall ability to do everyday activities
• Improve health and fitness by:
o increasing energy level
o improving sleep
o assisting weight control
o improving overall cardiovascular condition
o decreasing depression
o improving self-esteem and emotional health

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What happens if you don't exercise?

Lack of arthritis exercise contributes to:

• Smaller and weaker muscles
• Brittle bones
• Pain
• Disfigured joints that stay in one position for so long that the ability to straighten them may be lost
• Loss of mobility in joints that may become locked in position if they are not routinely worked
• A feeling of malaise

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What type of arthritis exercise program should you engage in?

A balanced program is best and should include a combination of exercises:

o A full range of motion exercises to help maintain normal joint movement, increase flexibility, and relieve stiffness. Do these every day.
o Strengthening exercises to maintain or increase muscle strength. Strong muscles help support and protect joints affected by arthritis. Do these at least every other day.
o Endurance exercises to improve cardiovascular fitness, help control weight, and improve overall well-being. Do these for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week. Swimming or water aerobics in a heated pool give you the benefits of exercise, and working out in water relieves the weight on sore joints.
o Taking walks. You don't have to go to a gym or work up a sweat to get exercise that's good for your joints. Walking is a great exercise and just about anyone can do it. Research shows those who take brief daily walks have less morning stiffness and pain than those who do not exercise.
o Biking. Short bike rides give you a good workout while taking the weight off your joints. You could also buy a stationary exercise bike to use at home.
o Lifting weights. Try exercising with small weights to increase upper-body strength. Remember: The more you weigh, the greater the stress on your joints, especially your hips, knees, and ankles. If you are overweight, losing even five to ten kilos can help reduce your pain.

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Important guidelines for all exercise

Before you begin an arthritis exercise program, you should consult a physician or a physical therapist, especially if you have not exercised in a while, have had any surgical procedures, or are over age 40.

• Always start off very gently so you can find out how much you are able to do without making the pain worse.
• 'Little and often' is better than the occasional exercise binge!
• Gradually make very small but regular increases in the amount of exercise you take. If you take it too easy it will not do you much good.
• Do not worry that you might be making your arthritis worse. As long as you start off gently, you will not.
• Be adventurous; find a form of exercise which is fun. But be sensible; hang-gliding is probably not a good idea!

The key is to exercise properly and in moderation, and to allow your body time to rest between workouts. Rest is critical to restoring and repairing joints and reducing inflammation.

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Additional Authoritative Health & Wellness resources

• For more detailed information related to comprehensive Health & Wellness issues; please visit

• For comprehensive information that can take your Flexibility to the next level so that you can improve your performance, eradicate injury and do away with tight, stiff muscles; please visit The Stretching Institute at .

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