When arthritis pain sets in, getting up to work out may be the last thing you want to do. But regularly opting for a walk around the block instead of an afternoon on the couch could gain you up to 20 pain-free days per year, according to research.
Using data from a nationwide study, a team of researchers examined how exercise affected quality of life among more than 4700 people suffering with or at risk for osteoarthritis (the “wear and tear” type) of the knee. The researchers measured the participants’ activity levels for one week and then divided the people into three groups: those who met the national guidelines of 150 minutes of exercise per week, those who were somewhat active and those who were largely inactive. The researchers also collected quality-of-life measurements at the beginning of the study, and then again two years later.
The researchers found that people who got the recommended amount of physical activity added about 20 days of good health over the course of a year, compared to those who were not active at all. And people who were only somewhat active had about 10 more healthy days.
Increasing physical activity by any amount can boost quality of life, add years of health to your life, and cut healthcare costs for patients with osteoarthritis, the researchers concluded.
Exercising with Arthritis
So what does that mean for you? It’s time to get moving.
Your body may try to fight you on it, but keeping your joints in motion is actually one of the best things you can do to manage arthritis pain. Just remember a few things before lacing up your sneakers:
Best Exercises for Aching Joints
While you may not be able to do stair climbers or crank out 100 squats every night, there are plenty of workout options available for you if you’re suffering from arthritis pain.
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