Women with arthritis would know that one or more joints take a hit. There is inflammation or swelling. The symptoms vary as there are different types of arthritis, but there is joint pain as well as stiffness. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, weight loss can ease arthritis pain and also improve the quality of life of people with arthritis. That holds true especially for people who are overweight or are fighting obesity. There can be a significant reduction in pain as well as inflammation. There are medicines, but CDC notes that weight loss is a non-drug way that can help to ease joint pain and manage arthritis. So, start working out and lose weight!
Health Shots reached out Mumbai-based fitness expert Anavi Someshwar for a list of effective exercises for arthritis. According to her, building muscle and increasing the strength around your joints is very important. It prevents further damage of the joint and gives you joint stability that will allow you to go through daily activities with ease.
Weight loss exercises for arthritis
The best and safest kind of exercises for arthritis that help to lose weight, increase stamina and improve joint health are walking, cycling and swimming, says Someshwar. Let us look at some more options.
Squats can give you strong core, legs and glutes. When it is performed under the right guidance, you can proceed to jump squats and single leg squats.
How to do squats
• To do squats, place your feet shoulder width apart while keeping your chest and back straight.
• Hinge forward, driving your hips back.
• Bend your knees in a way that your hips come in line with your knees. Your thighs need to be parallel to the ground.
• Rise up while maintaining equal pressure on your feet. As you do it, squeeze your buttock in.
2. Wall or knee supported push ups
Push ups is definitely a hard exercise to perform as the body’s entire weight is loaded on the shoulders, says the expert. But it is one way to work on building your upper body strength.
How to do push ups
• Start your push ups with your hands wider than shoulder width apart either on the floor or the wall.
• Go slow and begin to lower your body. Treat it as a single unit from your head to ankle or knee.
• Once you reach your maximum range, exhale. Then push back up as a single unit again.
• Think of making a triangle using your hands that are on the ground and your nose. So, drop your chest in between your palms and not your nose, which is a few inches ahead. Ensure that your elbows are not pushing out.
3. Glute bridge
Doing the glute bridge on a regular basis can help to reduce hip pain.
How to do glute bridge exercise
• Lie on the ground on your back while keeping your knees bent and feet parallel to each other, hip distance apart. Just keep your hands by your side.
• As you engage your core, squeeze your glutes. Then lift your hips up. There should be a natural arch in your lower back while doing so.
• Squeeze at the top and release down slowly.
• Exhale as you squeeze up, inhale at the top and exhale as you lower.
4. Dead bug
It helps strengthen the core and is good for those with arthritis.
• Begin with lying on your back. Your legs should be upto table top position.
Hands should be straight up facing the ceiling.
• While maintaining a normal arch in your back, extend your opposite hand and leg towards the floor.
• Come back to the starting posting and then change your limbs.
5. Mountain climbers
You can try doing mountain climbers as it is a complete body workout.
How to do mountain climbers
• Begin in an elbow plank on a chair, with legs on the floor.
• Go slow and tuck one knee in towards your chest. Take it back out and alternate your legs.
• You need to focus on pushing away from the ground. Keep maximum space between your ears and shoulders, but don’t shrug.
• Squeeze your lower belly when you bring your leg closer towards your chest. Squeeze your glutes as you take your leg out.
Exercising is good, but always remember to listen to your body, and not push beyond even the slightest bit of discomfort.