Arthritis has affected millions of people and it is estimated that there shall be 60 million people to have it by 2020, and in all age groups. The figure means that there were never enough preventive measures that have been done to prevent the disease from occurring.
Arthritis is at times beyond control and it still does not have a specific cause albeit age and genetics also play some roles. Another problem is that people accept the disease as part of aging, which is not always true. People need not suffer arthritis by default.
Among the effective ways to prevent arthritis is exercise. Regular exercise helps prevent many health problems, not just arthritis. It strengthens the muscles and protects the joints as well as improving body fitness.
Ask your health professional which types of exercise for arthritis prevention fit you. Generally, the following exercises can help:
- Aerobic Exercise
Aerobics can help in arthritis prevention. For those who already have arthritis shall minimize the pain. Aerobics also improves mental health and physical function.
This includes swimming, walking, biking, fitness classes, and other movements that can increase the heart rate while contributing to weight loss. Doing 30 minutes of daily aerobics five or more days per week is ideal.
- Range of Motion Movements
Yoga and tai chi are examples of range of motion movements which can help decrease the stress on the joints and likewise improve the balance.
Tai chi is originally a martial arts form of graceful exercise. It eases stiffness in the muscles and joints. Yoga relaxes and strengthens the muscles and boost flexibility.
- Strength Training
Strong muscles give added support to the joints, thus reducing the risk of getting arthritis. Strength training aids the body muscles reduce injury and take up shock.
Isotonic and isometric exercises concentrate on muscle tightening without the movement of joints like pushing the palms or thighs against each other; and holding the bent position for some seconds exerts the muscles.
Also, joint movements in isotonic exercises enhance muscle strength such as extending the knee while sitting which makes quadriceps stronger. Isotonic exercises can also be performed with or without weights.
Daily gentle stretching which is done before and after an exercise session can improve flexibility as well as reduce injury and protecting the joints. Sport injuries frequently impact arthritis later, hence stretching is important before any workout.
Those who suffer stiffness shall find stretching very beneficial during the morning. Take note that coerced stretching should be avoided as it can push one to mild tension. Warming up with a light walk or even marching in place for a few minutes before stretching is highly-recommended.
- Weight Loss Exercise
Weight management is important to prevent arthritis since the heavier the body, the more the internal systems become stressed. Reducing weight is to make it easier for the body to do daily activities and worry less about wear and tear.
The above-mentioned exercises such as aerobics and strength training can already help lose weight. Other weight loss exercises are jogging and running.