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Is it Possible to Out-Run Arthritis? It Could Actually Be a Walk in the Park!

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Arthritis related image Photo: Getty Images

If exercise can truly keep arthritis at bay, then I hope I am on the right track to optimum health. With my weekly routine of at least two hours of physical activity each day, I am confident that the mere threat of arthritis cannot keep the pace. If you have ever wanted to outrun a disease, here’s your opportunity. Lace up those sneakers and get your move on. Arthritis has nothing on your enthusiastic moves!

My 106-year-old grandma Kora had it right all along. She kicked my hindquarters into physical shape beginning in the preschool stage. Whenever I spent time with her, daily fitness was mandatory, not an option. She never missed a day of exercise in her life, and still doesn’t. What I find so remarkable about her is that she has never been sick in all of these years, barely a trace of a cold even, and she is still commendably healthy. In fact, just a couple of years ago, someone saw to it to help her up a flight of stairs by holding her at the elbow and walking with her. After a few patient steps up, Grandma stopped and turned to her helpful companion, noting, “I’m sorry, honey, but you’ve got to let go of me. You’re slowing me down.” Of course, she was just 104 then, but that’s still amazing!

For several years, the prevailing thought among people was that exercise should be avoided by those with arthritis as it was believed to damage their joints. These days, doctors regularly prescribe exercise for their patients whose arthritis is under control, as it can actually diminish the pain in their joints while improving their overall health and mood at the same time. So, it stands to reason that regular exercise works to keep your joints in proper working order. Get a jump start on it now and potentially avoid the debilitating effects of arthritis down the road.

While some folks might argue that it may be too late in life for them to even consider working out, studies suggest that when older women work out, they will enjoy a longer pain-free life. While exercise does wonders for the heart and helps to fight the extra padding associated with aging, it can also help prevent stiff, achy joints that are the precursors to arthritis.

Even engaging in a fitness routine of just one hour and 15 minutes a week can make a big difference over the next three years, according to findings published in the journal, “Arthritis Research & Therapy.” The study does not necessarily suggest you have to go all-out and work out as if you are training for the Olympics, but it does indicate that just by simply adding some walking and moderate activity into your daily routine can have a huge impact on your overall health.

Doctors have always encouraged their aging patients to exercise to keep their joints flexible, their muscles strong, and to help with weight issues, which is a risk factor for developing arthritis.

Exactly how exercise helps is not clearly known. It’s akin to understanding if the chicken or the egg came first. Does exercise directly benefit the joints, or does exercise make one lose weight which in turn benefits the joints? Perhaps exercise also causes pain sensing receptors to become less sensitive to pain.

Among some suggested exercise options are walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi, and some weight training. Of course, it is important to get the approval of your physician before beginning any exercise routine or program. Amazingly, the benefits of exercise produce quick results as well. You can start today and reap some benefits as early as tomorrow!

As of now, one out of every five American adults suffers from arthritis, with half of those individuals being over age 75. This number one cause of disability in America costs billions of dollars annually. You can get a good pair of walking shoes for about $50.00 - $75.00. Think, too, of the money you will save by potentially not having to visit a physician on a regular basis for arthritis, as well as all the money you won’t have to spend on medications and therapy to treat the disease. Sounds like a walk in the park to me!

(Information for this article was found at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17945811/ns/health-arthritis/ and at http://www.orthop.washington.edu/PatientCare/OurServices/Arthritis/Articles/ExerciseandArthritis.aspx)

Add a Comment2 Comments

I completely understand. My apologies. I awaken at 4 a.m. each day and do my workouts early in the morning. When you begin your day at 4 a.m. and end it at 11 p.m., you manage to get a lot accomplished.
I work 10 hour days as a writer, author, and speaker and manage a busy family of three boys and all of their activities, as well. I have always been an over-achiever, I suppose. I did not mean to offend you with that. It has just always been my lifestyle and I guess I am used to it. I am sure I would find your lifestyle a challenge for myself, but it probably works for you!

April 18, 2011 - 7:43am
EmpowHER Guest

I dont know how you can spend 2 hours a day doing vigorous exercise ,Most people who live normal lives eg with work and family etc would not be able to manage anything like that .Advice would be more useful if it took into account that people have other things to do besides exercise

April 18, 2011 - 6:21am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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