Stay healthy and fit

Learning about your body

Home - 2017 - July

Month: July 2017

Feeling Better In A Fitter Body

Posted on July 21, 2017 in Fitness

Exercise can be a very helpful tool in your overall health care plan. If you’re not already active, it can be both physically and mentally challenging to get going in a regular program, but the benefits can be a boon.

It’s important to consult with your doctor before you start an exercise program, however. One of the most difficult things to master is the delicate balancing act between exercising enough to help yourself and exercising without hurting yourself.

Your doctor can help you determine what kind of exercise will work best for you and when to use it, depending on what type of physical condition you have. (Remember, with many different personal situations, what helps one may aggravate another.)

For example, the best way to make sure your gout won’t go away is to shoot a few hoops while your foot hurts. And, if you’re going through an episode of acute inflammation, such as from rheumatoid arthritis, exercise can harm you. But if things have cleared up and your doctor’s given the green light, you can start creating a fitter body. And that should make you feel better all over.

The purpose of exercise is to keep joints moving, keep muscles strong, and build up your endurance. Because swollen joints can be worse when the pressure of your weight is put on them, at first the best exercise may be range-of-motion, moving each joints gently as far as you can, and simple moves such as straight leg raises.

Another advantage of exercising is that it will help you control your weight, which in itself is a factor for supporting your health and putting less stress on your joints, especially in the legs and joints. For that matter even lighter form of gym classes such as pilates or yoga burn weight loss sessions can have a positive impact. Likewise swimming is a low impact method that equates to a low intensity cardio.

Exercising in water is wonderful because it supports your weight, which means you can move more without overtaxing your joints. A general rule: if an hour after the exercise, you feel more pain than you did before, you are hindering more than helping. Stop that particular exercise.

Here are some basic tips:

  • During flare-ups of inflammatory diseases, don’t work your joints. (You should, however, go through gentle, range-of-motion exercises once or twice daily.)
  • Start slowly.
  • Relax your muscles with a gentle massage or warm bath or shower before workouts.
  • Warm up before working out by stretching gently and exercising slowly for 5 to 10 minutes and then stretching gently.
  • Be consistent; keep a regular exercise routine. You won’t help yourself if you exercise every other day for a month and then stop for two weeks.
  • If your joints are inflamed or painful, stop.
  • Move slowly and steadily; never jerk or bounce.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and good exercise shoes.
  • Cool down by slowing the pace of your activity for the last 5 or 10 minutes, and then do some more gentle stretches.

There are three general types of exercise, and they all can be very helpful in an arthritis workout plan.