Should You Exercise If You Have Arthritis?

Exercising with arthritisIf we have an underlying health condition, like arthritis, exercise may be difficult and almost scary. No matter the benefits, if we think exercising will increase our pain, we’ll likely avoid it. Here is what you need to know about staying active with arthritis.

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. It sounds simple, but there are nearly 200 different types of arthritis. Inflammation in the joints can cause pain and restrict mobility. Because of this, it may be difficult to determine if exercise is safe or not. Here are a few things to consider if you have a type of arthritis and are curious whether or not you can partake in exercise.

5 Questions to Ask If You Have Arthritis and Want to Exercise

1. What kind of arthritis do you have?


As mentioned above, there are nearly 200 different types of arthritis, so what type you have plays a large role in determining whether or not you can exercise. This is because symptoms can vary and might hinder one’s ability to perform physical activity.

For example, rheumatoid arthritis causes stiffness that can actually improve with exercise. On the other hand, someone with osteoarthritis should avoid heavy weights as they can make joint pain and stiffness much worse.

To know if exercise is safe for your type of arthritis, speak to a doctor or a physical therapist who can help you understand the type of arthritis you have.

2. How is your pain?

Those with arthritis all have good days and bad days when it comes to pain. Maybe one day you wake up flexible and mobile, and on others, you’re as stiff as a board. Your pain level can also help determine whether or not you should exercise. By recognizing your level of pain you, with the help of your doctor, can create limits for your exercise routine to get the maximum benefits with no side effects.

3. Do you have other medical conditions?

Other medical conditions can greatly determine your ability to exercise with arthritis. With other medical conditions come additional medications that can complicate exercise. To determine the best type of exercise, it’s important to look at your “big picture” health outlook.

4. What current shape are you in?

Sure it would be great to jump right in and start running or lifting weights, but you have to be realistic and check your fitness level. If you haven’t been able to exercise for a while, too much intensity can have more consequences than benefits. Start off slow and work with a physical therapist who can ease you into an exercise regime.

5. Why exercise is important?

There are several reasons why exercise is important if you have arthritis. First, exercise helps to increase flexibility and range of motion, both of which can be limited by arthritis. Exercise can also help to strengthen the muscles around the joints, which can help to stabilize the joint and reduce pain.Exercise can also help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. Finally, exercise can help improve overall mood and energy levels, which can be affected by arthritis. As you can see, exercise is vital in the management of arthritis. While it may be sore the first few times you do perform specific exercises, your body will thank you for it in the long run!

Exercise for Arthritis

Range-of-motion exercises

Range of motion exercises are designed to improve the range of motion in your joints. These exercises can help reduce stiffness and pain and improve your overall mobility. Most range of motion exercises can be done on a daily basis and can be performed either standing or sitting.
Some common range of motion exercises includes raising your arms overhead, rolling your shoulders forward and backward, and turning your head from side to side. These exercises can help to improve the range of motion in your shoulders, neck, and hips. These types of exercises are extremely easy to perform and can be done almost anywhere!

Strengthening Exercises

As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass and strength. This loss of muscle can decrease the support and protection that our muscles provide for our joints. This, in turn, can lead to an increased risk of joint injury.

However, strengthening exercises can help to offset the loss of muscle mass and maintain or increase muscle strength. Weight training is one type of strengthening exercise that can be particularly effective. By using resistance to build muscle, weight training can help increase our muscles’ size and strength. As a result, weight training can help us keep our muscles strong as we age, providing essential support and protection for our joints.


Regular aerobic exercise has many benefits for people with arthritis. These activities will pump the heart rate and make you breathe harder. It includes exercises such as jogging, biking, or swimming.

Aerobic exercise is especially important for people with arthritis because it helps to reduce pain and stiffness, increase range of motion, and build strong muscles and bones. For these reasons, aerobic exercise is essential to any arthritis treatment plan. There are many different ways to get aerobic exercise, so talk to your doctor about what activities are right for you. Just remember to start slowly and build up gradually to avoid injury.


Walking is a low-impact aerobic exercise that almost anyone can do regardless of fitness level. It can strengthen bones and muscles, increase your range of motion, and shifts pressure and weight from joints and muscles to reduce arthritis pain.
Walking is also a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, and research has shown that walking can help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, walking has been shown to boost mood and reduce stress levels. So next time you’re feeling down or struggling to get motivated, go for a walk! Not only will you improve your physical health, but you’ll also give your mental health a boost.



For people with arthritis, yoga can offer many potential benefits. First and foremost, yoga is a low-impact form of exercise, which means it is gentle on the joints. This is important for people with arthritis, as high-impact activities can exacerbate joint pain and inflammation. Additionally, yoga can help to build strength and improve joint function.
The stretching and strengthening movements involved in yoga can help increase range of motion and reduce joint stiffness. Finally, yoga has been shown to minimize arthritis-related pain. Through stretching, strengthening, and breathing exercises, yoga can help ease pain and improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.

Hand stretches

One of the best things you can do for your hand pain is to start doing hand stretches and exercises regularly. These stretches and exercises can help to make your joints more flexible and improve the range of motion. This can be extremely helpful if you have arthritis or other conditions that cause hand pain.
Hand stretches and exercises can also help to reduce inflammation and swelling. As a result, they can help to reduce the amount of pain that you feel on a daily basis. You can enjoy significant relief from hand pain by including hand stretches and exercises in your daily routine.

Water workouts

Water exercises are an excellent way to reduce joint pain and stress. The water supports the body’s full weight, which minimizes the impact on the joints. This is especially helpful for people with arthritis, as it helps to reduce inflammation and increase the range of motion.
In addition, water exercises are also a great way to reduce stress. The warm water relaxes the muscles, and the water resistance helps to improve circulation. As a result, water exercises can help minimize pain and reduce joint stress.