I was asked by a journalist this week about Arthritis and Exercise so here are the questions and answers for you.
1. Why is it important to warm up properly before exercising - and what are some good warm up exercises?
Answer – It is important that you must warm up properly because when you first start your body and muscles will be cold which will mean less blood flow to the body. When you start to exercise, the oxygen will increase meaning the nutrients will get to your internal organs which in turn will supply the brain. The muscles need to be warm and more oxygen supply through them so you don’t injure yourself. The warmer you are, the better the blood and oxygen supply to your muscles helping recovery times to be speedier.
Some good warm up exercises are:
- Mountain Pose
- Standing Side Bends and Back Bends
- Head and Neck Stretch
- Cat and Cow Pose
- Butterfly Pose
- Cow Face Arms
- Walking and Jogging
2. Why is strength training important?
Answer: Strength training is needed for any age because it helps the muscles and bones stay healthy. As we get older our bone density decreases so we need to make sure that we have the right amount of muscle mass to protect the bones. The stronger the muscles, the more we can protect our bones and keep strong. Arthritis will be less inclined to kick in at an early age. It also allows the blood to flow better throughout the body and nourishes the weaker areas of the body.
3. Why is it important to find an activity that you enjoy?
Answer: You ned to be happy with the activity and you need to find it fun and enjoyable for you to stick to it. It takes 21 days for a habit to form so if you are dreading doing that particular exercise or group activity then move on and find something else you might like. Try lots of different ones to find the one. This way you feel happier that your body is enjoying it because you will start to see the benefits of weight loss, your body changing, people noticing how you are and complementing you. Your serotonin levels will be higher that’s our calming hormone and our cortisol levels will decrease that’s our stress hormone. You will make new friends which will then give you happy hormones that’s the endorphins.
4. How can props help you move?
Answer: They allow you to get into better positions easier for your body without putting to much strain on the muscles and joints. It doesn’t mean you are struggling, you are doing it right and that’s the best way to be. Resistance bands can really help recovery and also strengthen any areas of the muscles and bones which might be slightly weaker.
5. Is it important to have a cooldown after exercise?
Answer: Yes you need to cool down and stretch out the muscles you’ve been working on so as to get as much blood flow and oxygen to them to help aid the recovery process. This is a must especially the areas which have had the most strain on them.
6. What are the benefits of yoga for people with arthritis?
Yoga is incredible for people with arthritis because it really helps to keep the joints moving and the blood flow into the joints. It makes people feel better because it’s making them less stiff especially when they are getting up from a seated position etc.
Yoga in general can help people sleep better which in turn helps to heal their sore and painful joints. They will be less likely to toss and turn in bed therefore getting a better night’s sleep. It also helps to promote a better way of living as they are less stressed and will be able to feel better quicker. Yoga is a gentle form of exercise compared to say running or cycling so you still feel like you are getting a workout, but it takes a much more gentler approach. Yoga also improves joint mobility without the stresses and strains in different forms of exercise.
The use of a resistance band helps to improve the muscle mass as its stretching out the muscles allowing more oxygen and blood flow to the affected areas.
If you have found this post helpful then please share and also let me know what you do for exercise to help your joints by commenting below.
Have a great day. Lots of love xxx