While embarking on an exercise programme can seem daunting for anyone, that may ring particularly true for people with arthritis. If you’re living with fatigue, pain and stiffness, you may be scared that physical activity will exacerbate your symptoms or damage your joints.
However, establishing an appropriate exercise routine is actually one of the best things you can do. It can help you manage your pain better, boost your energy levels, lessen fatigue and improve psychological well-being. On top of this, it can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, putting less strain on your joints.
Of course, it is important to be selective about which forms of exercise are right for you. In Patient’s recent survey of 281 healthcare professionals, doctors were more likely to recommend low-impact activities for arthritis than more vigorous forms of exercise.
The leading activity was yoga and Pilates (recommended by 64% of doctors) followed by bowls and pétanque (recommended by 50%) and swimming/snorkelling/diving (49%). At the other end of the spectrum, the least recommended sports were skateboarding (6%), hockey (5%) and rugby (4%).