Suffering from Arthritis? Try Circuit Training
Many people, and even some physicians believe that if you have osteoarthritis, exercise will exacerbate your condition and your discomfort, but the truth is that physical activity helps relieve pain and slows the progression of this malady.
A long-term study* of 109 people between the ages of 40 and 80 with mild to moderate osteoarthritis in one or both hips found that those who participated in a 12-week exercise program that included strength training, stretching, and functional exercises were 44 percent less likely to need hip replacement six years later than individuals who didn’t exercise. In addition, researchers found that the exercisers showed less progression of arthritis compared with non-exercisers whether they had surgery or not.
Your joints were made to move and your muscles to work and using them to do what they are made to do keeps them healthy. What physical activity is best for arthritis sufferers? According to the Arthritis Foundation, a combination of strength training, aerobic exercise, and stretching—the combo you find in a 30-minute Curves workout. Here’s how the Curves Circuit can work for you.
Strengthen Muscles for Joint Support
Though you might think strength training would only inflame your pain, you’ll find that as your muscles get stronger they shoulder more of stress that falls on your joints when you move, reducing your discomfort. This form of training strengthens your muscles so they are better able to support and stabilize your joints, which lessens stress on your joints and helps prevent injury. Strong quadriceps (the front of your thigh), for example, can help prevent arthritis of the knee.
Burn Calories to Reduce Weight
One of the top risks for osteoarthritis among women is obesity. Excess weight puts excess stress on your joints, so shedding extra pounds lightens the load on knees and hips, easing pain and reining in the deterioration of your joints. The Curves Circuit is low-impact but can be high intensity if you work it.
Stretch to Keep Muscles Supple
Always make time to stretch at the end of every workout. It helps relieve stiffness around your joints that can contribute to pain, and it increases your range of motion so that you can more comfortably and more fully perform all your day-to-day activities.
Move to Improve Your Mood
Even the psychological benefit of being active helps alleviate discomfort. Stress, a common affliction of our busy lives, creates tension in muscles, and tense muscles intensify arthritic pain. Physical activity helps blow stress away and provides a feel-good burst of endorphins—your body’s natural pain medicine.
Curves is the perfect choice for women who suffer from osteoarthritis, but you should still discuss your exercise plans with your physician; then toss away those well-worn myths around exercise and arthritis and make a move to get to Curves to keep your knees, hips, elbows, and all your joints working their best.
*Ann Rheum Dis 2015;74:164-169 doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203628