As you age, it’s natural to experience aches and pains in your joints. However, if you suffer from arthritis, joint pain and stiffness can become severe enough to affect your quality of life. Arthritis is a common condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are several approaches to managing the symptoms. One effective way to manage arthritis symptoms is by engaging in strength training.
Strengthening exercises for people with arthritis typically focus on building muscular strength and improving flexibility. These exercises help support the joints, increase mobility, and reduce pain and stiffness. While the idea of lifting weights or engaging in strength training may seem daunting, studies show that it is not only safe but also beneficial for people with arthritis.
Here are some reasons why strength training is good for arthritis:
1. Improved Joint Function
Strength training is designed to help build muscle mass and strength. When you perform strength training exercises, you challenge your muscles beyond their usual efforts, which can help make them stronger. This, in turn, helps your joints become more stable and better positioned. Strong muscles help reduce the strain on your joints, allowing you to use them more effectively.
2. Reduced Pain and Stiffness
Arthritis can make it challenging to move because of the pain and stiffness that follows. However, strength training can help alleviate symptoms by improving joint function and minimizing pain levels. Studies have shown that strength training can significantly reduce osteoarthritis pain levels.
3. Weight Management
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for people with arthritis. The extra weight puts unnecessary pressure on the joints, which can worsen arthritis symptoms. Strength training has been shown to increase metabolism, burn calories, and reduce body fat, hence minimizing the risk of developing arthritis.
4. Increase in Bone Density
Strength training has been shown to help boost bone density. This can be particularly useful for those with osteoporosis that often reinforces arthritis. Arthritis can cause weakening of the bones, resulting in an increased risk of fractures. Strength training can help increase bone density, making it less likely to suffer from fractures.
5. Enhance Range of Motion
As arthritis progresses, people may notice their range of motion has decreased. However, strength training can improve your flexibility and range of motion. Engaging in activities that require pushing and pulling movements, squats, lunges, and stability exercises can enhance your capability and make you more mobile.
In conclusion, strength training is an essential part of managing arthritis symptoms. By engaging in regular strength training routines, you can reduce joint pain and stiffness, improve your joint function and mobility, and enhance bone density. It is always recommended to consult with your physician before starting any new exercise program. In most cases, a certified physical therapist can also develop an exercise regime that is perfect for your body conditions.