Exercises for Osteoarthritis
Most people seem to think that because I suffer with osteoarthritis I must have limited movement and physical ability. Quite the opposite is true. I believe that regular, controlled and measured exercises for osteoarthritis is important in order to loosen up joints, strengthen surrounding muscle tissue and stimulate the healing process.
A note of caution though; before you get started with any exercises for osteoarthritis, it's essential to look at your diet to try to reduce levels of inflammation in your body, as exercise may increase stress within an already stressed body. Osteoarthritis suffers typically have high levels of inflammation - not just in their joints but throughout their whole body. By undertaking the alkalising diet I reduced my intake of allergens such as gluten, dairy and meat and with it reduced food allergies and intolerance that trigger a inflammatory response in the body.
As I mentioned in the Diet section of this site, I also increased my water intake. Drinking about half your weight in fluid ounces of water daily (body weight in kilos multiplied by 0.033 equals the number of litres of water per day you need) is another essential step towards reducing arthritis pain and creating a beneficial environment in which your body can respond well to exercise.
After around 18 months of alkalising I started to undertake gentle exercises for osteoarthritis which involved walking my dog daily, yoga and swimming. I built up my strength and stamina to a point where I found myself also jogging for short periods of time. Now just over five years after being told I would need knee replacement surgery, I am running once a week for about 30 minutes to an hour each time. When I run I focus on my breathing and posture, I never go out to set any speed records - so Sir Mo Farah needn't worry too much! There is now scientific evidence to suggest that running can actually reduce joint pain - I know how counter-intuitive is that but i totally subscribe to the idea because of my own experience.
Last year I also added HIIT (high intensity interval training) by indoor rowing a few times a week. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise, followed by recovery periods of low-intensity activity or rest. I like to warm up for 2 minutes, then work in one-minute cycles – such as 30 seconds of intensive work, followed by 30 seconds of rest. I repeat this for 20 minutes.
The term to have in mind is 'keep fit' rather than gym bunny (or uber-athlete). Keeping active and mobile has helped keep my joint lose and the surrounding muscle tissue strong, as we as stimulating the healing process. It has also helped me reduce and maintain a lower body weight (that bit's key).
For more information or to ask questions please visit the Beating Osteoarthritis forum, where you can join in discussions. Along with exercises for osteoarthritis there have been two other factors in helping me beat the disease: Diet and PEMF Therapy. Read more about my story!