National Arthritis Week is on between the 12-19th of October. World arthritis day is on the Thursday 12th of October.
This is part 2 of a 2-part Article I’ll be giving some tips and information from ArthritisIreland.ie on aerobic exercise that can be used for anyone who has arthritis or is thinking or beginning exercise.
Part one included information on low-impact exercise, range of movement, and strengthening exercises.
Aerobic just means exercise that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe a little harder than when you are stationary. This form helps with your overall fitness and is also known as endurance or cardiovascular exercise.
Aerobic exercise burns off calories, helps maintain a strong heart and helps muscles work more effectively.
It also helps control and reduces weight, improves sleep, strengthens bones, reduces depression and builds up stamina.
Begin any exercise by stretching to warm up. To get any benefit, aerobic exercise must be done for a prolonged period (20-30 minutes) two to three times a week.
These exercises done correctly and consistently will provide some relief from the pain of arthritis, help with good posture, and increase your energy and vitality.
Forms of aerobic activities are;
- Swimming & water activities
Tips for aerobic activities:
- When you start out, strive for a moderate intensity level with slight breathlessness and an increased pulse but you can still talk comfortably and feel warm with some sweating.
- Check with a doctor before beginning a regime, especially if you have moderate to severe arthritis, a heart condition or high blood pressure.
- Avoid activities that include jumping, rapid twisting, turning and sudden stops, as they are very stressful on your knees and spine.
- Before starting to exercise, warm up by doing some gentle stretches. Likewise, cool down after stopping. This can be done by slowly doing a bit more of the exercise you were doing or by doing more stretching exercises.
- It is recommended that aerobic exercises are done for a prolonged period (20-30minutes) two to three times a week.
- If this is too much to begin with, build up slowly until the body is ready for a full workout.
- If you find it too much to do 20 to 30 minutes at one time, try doing blocks of 5 to 10 minutes, resting in between, until you have done a full workout.
Exercise in Daily Life
If you are not physically active or have never exercised before, starting a new routine might seem intimidating.
Although it is important to maintain regular, structured exercise, it is possible to incorporate exercise into a daily routine in surprisingly easy ways.
Physical activity cannot replace structured exercise, but it does help maintain joint movement and fitness. Try incorporating one or more of the following into your daily routine.
- Vacuuming is a good example of aerobic exercise. It uses both arm and leg muscles, particularly if using an upright cleaner. Washing floors gives a similar workout. Don’t try to do the whole house at once, build up to a maximum of 20 to 30 minutes to get a good aerobic workout.
- Doing the washing up can also help maintain movement. Washing up in warm water can help loosen up finger joints and emptying the dishwasher can help stretch arm and leg muscles.
- Learn to play the piano or take up knitting: Both of these hobbies are great exercise for fingers and can be very enjoyable. Playing the piano in particular gives fingers a good stretch.
- Gardening is another good opportunity to exercise joints. Making a few adaptations to the way you garden may be necessary (perhaps using different equipment), but gentle gardening activities such as digging, pruning, raking and weeding allow for stretching without putting too much stress on joints. Changing gardening jobs regularly works different sets of muscles. Try doing a little, often. Limit it to a maximum of 30 minutes at a time to avoid overdoing things.
- Use the stairs instead of taking lifts and escalators if you do not have problems with your hips or knees.
- Make more than one trip from the car to the house with the groceries.
- Walk to the local shop instead of driving.
- Get off one stop early if you take public transport.
Exercise at Work
Take frequent ‘stretch’ breaks at work to walk to the water cooler or bathroom.
- Choose a parking spot furthest away from the entrance.
- Walk down the hall instead of using the phone or e-mail.
- Take a walk during the morning or lunch break.
- Walk /cycle to work
- Go to the gym /swim during lunch.
People living with certain types of arthritis may find that their symptoms dictate how and when they exercise.
There are many different types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and fibromyalgia.
If you have a condition not mentioned here and would like information about appropriate exercise, talk to your doctor or physiotherapist, or call the Arthritis Ireland Helpline on 1890 252 846.
For more information, contact me through the link below.
* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe FitnessTags: