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How does exercise help prevent osteoarthritis?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Exercise is invaluable in helping prevent osteoarthritis. Any type of low-impact, light to moderate exercise—brisk walking, low-impact aerobics, swimming, resistance training, yoga and bike riding—is a good choice.

Your exercise program should feature activities that strengthen your muscles without putting a lot of stress on your joints. When your muscles are strong, they reduce extra stress on the joints by holding them in the correct position, which helps prevent osteoarthritis. Studies show, for example, that having strong thigh muscles helps prevent knee arthritis. Strong muscles also help you keep your balance and avoid falls that could injure a joint, which would then be more likely to develop osteoarthritis later on.  

Your exercise program should also include activities that get your heart pumping harder. Be sure to enjoy some activities that move your joints in all directions and help with balance.

http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteoarthritis/default.asp#pic_4; http://www.hopkins-arthritis.org/patient-corner/disease-management/exercise.html

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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.