Modes of Exercise
Individuals with arthritis can benefit from cardiovascular, muscle strengthening, flexibility, and mind and body exercises.
For cardiovascular exercises, individuals with arthritis may be especially sensitive to heavy impact exercises, such as jogging, sprinting, or jumping. As such, they may wish participate in lower impact activities such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, or using equipment such as the elliptical, stationary bike, or krank machine.
Muscle strengthening exercises can also vary in joint impact, based on the type of equipment used. While some individuals with arthritis may want to use free weights, others may find it easier to do body weight exercises, utilize a resistance band or tube, or use a weight machine.
While stretching is recommended for individuals with arthritis, they may wish to focus more on doing multiple repetitions of range-of-motion exercises, as these can maintain and improve the flexibility of various joints affected by arthritis.
Mind and body exercises such as yoga and tai chi can benefit physical awareness and functioning by helping individuals with arthritis improve such abilities as balance and posture.
The Arthritis Foundation offers multiple resources and opportunities for individuals with arthritis relating to physical activity and exercise, including:
- AFEP (Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program)
- Staying Active