May is recognized each year as National Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis is a disease that impacts more than 50 million Americans, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. Did you know that exercise can help manage the effects of arthritis? Here are the top four exercises that you should be implementing into your exercise regiment to help manage the effects of arthritis:
1. Walking – This is a natural and low energy way to get active. It is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. If walking is too difficult for you, use walking sticks or a brace. Go as slow as you need to- any walking is beneficial. Check out the walking classes on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and Fridays at 8 a.m. to learn the proper technique and have fun while enjoying the fresh air.
2. Yoga – Regular yoga practice can help reduce joint pain, improve joint flexibility and function and lower stress and tension to promote better sleep. On days when you’re experiencing a painful arthritis flare, continuing to do some type of physical activity like yoga, if possible, can help you maintain joint flexibility. Try the Yoga classes on Tuesdays at 11:15 a.m. and Wednesdays at 10:45 a.m., and Tai Chi Mondays at 11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. for guided movements to ensure a quality experience.
3. Aquatic Exercise – Regular aquatic exercise can help relieve pain and improve daily function in people with shoulder, hip and knee arthritis. This low impact exercise is very beneficial for individuals who experience pain in daily movements. The buoyancy of the water supports a portion of your body weight making it easier to move in the water and improve your flexibility. Come try this low impact exercise at the Aqua Fitness class at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
4. Strength Training – This helps you build strong muscles that help support and protect your joints. Weight training can help you maintain or increase your muscle strength. Rest a day in between your workouts, and take an extra day or two if your joints are painful or swollen. When starting a strength-training program, it’s important that you have the right instruction. Check out the fitness classes held on Mondays and Fridays 9:30 a.m. Fitness and Conditioning and 10:30 a.m. Balance and Flexibility, and Thursdays at 10 a.m. is Pilates.