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What are some good exercises, besides walking, for arthritis in the hip?

Many people with arthritic pain in their hips or knees cannot take the 30- to 60-minute walk that is recommended to improve blood glucose control. You can do armchair aerobics and stretches while sitting. Water aerobics in a swimming pool is another activity that does not put stress on your joints. If you can do them, gentle "standing" exercises such as tai chi or chi kung can give you a no-impact workout.

All exercise routines should include a 10-minute warm-up period, 10–30 minutes of exercise, and a 10-minute cooldown period. The exercise must be intense enough to get your heart rate up but not so intense that you can't speak. You may break out in a light sweat (if you're not in a pool).

Weight loss is not the only benefit of exercising. Exercise also increases insulin sensitivity, improves blood flow to the heart and muscles, and helps improve blood glucose control. As with all exercise programs, you should consult your health care team for recommendations about the activity that is right for you. Don't let your arthritis prevent you from exercising.

First and foremost you should always follow physical activity recommendations set by your treating physician. Joint motion and pressure across the joints helps nourish cartilage. Aquatic exercises are great for arthritis. The water reduces pressure on the joints and soothes pain. Bicycling and light resistance training exercises are also great for arthritis. You should avoid exercises that cause joints to move in to painful ranges of motion.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.