Modes of Exercise
Cardiovascular exercise can be obtained through a wide variety of activities. For individuals with osteoarthritis, the key to this type of exercise is keeping it low impact to prevent putting additional stress on joints. As such, activities including brisk walking, biking, and swimming and other aquatic activities are highly recommended.
Strengthening exercises target muscles, which assist joints by reducing the impact they receive and providing them with additional stabilization. While all major muscle groups should be worked out, for individuals with osteoarthritis, especially in the knee and/or hip, should ensure they include exercises that strengthen the quadriceps in their routines, as well as exercises that target the hamstrings and hip abductors.
Flexibility exercises for people with osteoarthritis should focus primarily on range-of-motion exercise, which can help maintain and improve the functionality, movement, and pain levels in joints. These exercises focus on gently, slowly moving joints through their full range.
Mind and body exercises can help individuals with osteoarthritis sustain and improve functionality and balance, which may in turn help prevent secondary incidents like falls. Such activities as yoga, tai chi, and ai chi (water-based tai chi) are excellent mind and body exercise options.