Over 27 million Americans suffer from the aches and pains of osteoarthritis. Getting proper exercise can at times seem difficult. Physical Therapist Lauren Smith, PT, DPT, offers fitness tips for those with osteoarthritis who would like to stay active:
- Flexibility exercises move your joints through their pain free available range of motion and can help you maintain the ability to perform everyday activities such as bending over, tying your shoes and reaching overhead.
- Strengthening exercises can help build or maintain muscle strength thus reducing joint pain and stiffness. A physical therapist can help design an exercise program appropriate for your needs.
- Low intensity aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling or swimming can improve endurance and your overall cardiovascular fitness. Aerobic exercise recommendations include 30-40 minutes of low intensity activity, three to four days a week.
Make sure to check with a physician or physical therapist before initiating exercise for your own safety.
Lauren Smith is a doctor of physical therapy at the Joint Mobility Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.