Exercise is good for you!
Do you love activity, but hate exercise? Do you want to get fit but don’t know where to start? Why not get active this Summer? The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have a promotion currently to encourage exercise to help various conditions. These include arthritis, chronic pain, back pain, to name but a few. Exercise can be fun and not necessarily hard work!
Where do I start?
- What exercise do you enjoy?
- Exercise can help arthritis. Find an exercise you can enjoy and stick to
- Always start gently and slowly build up the time and intensity as you feel able. At the Iveson Clinic, we see people who suddenly decide to get fit and sprint around a squash court for example. They end up pulling a muscle because they hadn’t warmed up and gradually worked on their fitness.
- Slight discomfort after or during exercise in ok. However, if the joint swells, becomes hot or extremely painful, then stop and seek advice.
- Exercise in water is a great place to start. Bodyweight is largely supported and so there is less strain on the joints. Aquacise is extremely popular.
Exercising with Arthritis
Firstly consider you own health needs. A healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and reducing smoking and stress levels, will all help you manage your arthritis.
What exercise will suit you? Do you want to exercise with someone, in a group or on your own? Whatever exercise you choose, as mentioned above, start gently. Suggested forms of exercise include:
- Gentle Exercise Class
- Light running (Couch to 5k is a good scheme to improve your fitness)
By the time I was 55, I had been managing my arthritis with painkillers
for about 10 years. I was doing less and less because I was scared it
would cause more pain.
My doctor had suggested exercise but I couldn’t see how was going to
help me and I could always find a million excuses to miss the gym.
I took stronger tablets but the pain was always there.
Then I developed sciatica. I’d had it before, but this was different. The
pain was excruciating and so debilitating.
I went to see a specialist who explained that my spine was deteriorating
and if I wanted to have less pain I needed to move more. I felt that if I
didn’t follow his advice I’d end up in a wheelchair.
I love my garden so decided to open my garden for charity under the National Garden Scheme. This gave me a goal
and made me get out in the garden every single day, rain or shine. Initially it was just for a few minutes each day but
increased as I got stronger and the sciatica began to improve.
Exercise doesn’t have to be about going to a gym or joining a sports team. Think about other forms of activity that get you moving physically.
Flare ups of pain are normal. The symptoms may vary from day to day. Just listen to your body. If there is swelling, consider using ice to help reduce the pain and inflammation. Try to do gentle exercise on the bed or floor and then as the pain starts to ease, return to more activity as you are able. The worst thing you can do is sit and wait for the pain to go away!
Go on, get active this Summer. But most of all enjoy yourself.