Exercise helps reduce arthritis pain Saint John NB

With winter behind us, many Canadians are jumping back into action. But for the over four million Canadians who are living with arthritis, that leap ...

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Exercise helps reduce arthritis pain

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(NC)-With winter behind us, many Canadians are jumping back into action. But for the over four million Canadians who are living with arthritis, that leap is a little more difficult. However, it's exactly what the doctor ordered! Research shows that for those living with arthritis, exercise not only decreases your pain, but also increases your flexibility and overall fitness.

Before you start pumping iron or running marathons, check out these tips to help ease you into a fitness program:

• Check with your doctor or physiotherapist to make sure the activity you're planning to take up isn't out of your league.

• More is not necessarily better. A program that is consistent and follows the motto, "slow and steady" is best - especially for beginners.

• Try setting aside a few minutes every day in the morning and before bed for range-of-motion and flexibility exercises.

• Include a "rest day" in your schedule. Aiming to exercise 30 to 60 minutes three days a week is best.

• If a joint is particularly painful, cut your program down to gentle range-of-motion exercises. You may want to apply ice to the joint before and after you exercise and take an over-the-counter medication containing acetaminophen. In particular, the Tylenol arthritis pain formulation has proven to be highly effective for arthritic pain relief and is safe to take alongside medications you are taking for other conditions.

• Observe the "two-hour" pain rule to avoid overdoing it. Muscle or joint pain that lasts more than two hours after exercise, or fatigue lasting into the next day, means you probably did too much too fast. But make sure this does not cause you to stop exercising - just exercise less strenuously or for a shorter time.

If all these tips aren't enough to motivate you, here is another way to look at it. Exercise is a chance to confront arthritis directly and maybe reclaim some favourite activities the condition has stolen from you. The trick is getting started and sticking with your program.

Credit: www.newscanada.com