• Faye O'Connor

Exercising with Arthritis


For those living with arthritis the thought of exercising can be pretty daunting. The thought of causing an injury or increasing pain levels can cause people to avoid activity their joints need.

How will avoiding activity aggravate Arthritis?

However avoiding activity due to pain is not advised as this will lead to the joints getting a little stiffer and the muscles weakening. There are many benefits of exercising if you live with arthritis and if you don’t’ exercise you are more likely to:

Diagram produced on behalf of people with arthritis. Reproduced with permission; Sue Gurden, Aneurin Bevan Health Board

Exercise does not have to be very vigorous to produce benefits. Even gentle stretching or Tai Chi can improve balance and help keep the joints moving, and simple walking can dramatically improve fitness and reduce joint pain.

What should you consider when taking up exercise?

When considering taking up exercise when you have arthritic joints always discuss with your GP beforehand as the type of exercise that is best for you will depend on your type of arthritis and which joints are involved. Your GP will also be able to discuss suitable pain management whilst participating in exercise and aftercare to prevent further injury or pain.

Enjoying Exercise

When it comes to choosing a suitable exercise class, whilst it is important that it will be suitable for your personal abilities it is most important that you choose an activity that you will enjoy participating in. Enjoying exercise will greatly increase your physical activity levels and motivate you and in turn give stability to your routine.

Types of exercise

Exercise can help you improve your health fitness and mood without hurting your joints and there are three main types of exercise and each has different benefits.

  1. Aerobic exercise improves fitness, stamina and cardiovascular health

  2. Resistance exercises improve muscle strength and help with pain reduction and balance

  3. Flexibility exercises which can reduce stiffness and improve mobility

Ideally you should try to do some of all these three types of exercise for the best results.

Recommended exercises for arthritis

Aerobic, resistant and flexibility exercise elements can all be found in the recommended exercises for those living with arthritis

  • Aerobics

  • Dance

  • Aquatics

  • Martial Arts

  • Pilates

  • Tai Chi

  • Yoga

Benefits of dance

However dancing is an exercise that will maintain all of the above as well as giving the brain a workout remembering sequences, steps and technique. Dance and arthritis, depending on the style of dance, can go together like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

But,exercise is not the only thing to benefit arthritis and joint pain.

How Xpress-Yourself can help?

Our Keep Dancing classes are designed so that they are low impact with no need for a partner. Keep Dancing welcomes people living with arthritis as we happily make adaptations to movements to prevent aggravation of different joints, we know that each person has a different body and ability and we believe that everyone is a dance.

Keep Dancing teaches many different dance styles to maintain interest, improve coordination and improve balance and develop memory. The nature of the classes are very friendly and encourage people to meet new people and have FUN!

However, we’re not just about Keep Dancing. Our belief that everyone is dancer is extended to working with older frail adults in care homes, dementia cafes and hospitals. Our dance workshops are use an inclusive approach so that they are accessible for all no matter how limited an individual’s movement may be. We whole heartened believe that any opportunity to dance is an opportunity to gently move, evoke memories and bring laughter and happiness into everyone’s lives.

Want to dance? Contact us

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Faye O'Connor Dance

75 Wheatsheaf Road

Tividale

West Midlands

B69 1SN

 

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