Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Exercising can improve your muscle strength, boost your endurance, improve cardiovascular health, and help deliver oxygen and nutrients to your system. However, if you have arthritis, you may be wondering if exercising could affect you differently or if it is advisable. The good news is that exercise is great for individuals with arthritis and can even help reduce some arthritis symptoms. 

Arthritis 101

Arthritis is the swelling or tenderness of one or more of your joints. Symptoms of arthritis can include joint pain and stiffness and can worsen over time. 


There are two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects the ends of bones wears down from injury or with age. Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune disease in which the body's immune system attacks the joints and the lining of the joints.


Various diseases like lupus and psoriasis could also cause different types of arthritis. And treatment of arthritis will likely depend on the specific arthritis type you have and will be geared towards reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. 


Exercising with Arthritis

Exercising regularly provides many benefits for your cardiovascular health, energy levels, and overall well-being. And for those who have arthritis, exercise can help reduce discomfort associated with arthritis by strengthening muscles and increasing bone strength, which naturally decreases joint pain. 


It's important to remember that arthritis can produce symptoms like a reduced range of motion, joint pain, and fatigue which can make exercising without a plan painful, difficult, and counterproductive. Fortunately, you can still do plenty of exercises if you have arthritis and reap the benefits of improved balance, flexibility, endurance, and energy. 



Walking is something most people can do regardless of their level of fitness. Walking is an easy, low-impact activity that can help strengthen your bones and muscles, increase your range of motions, and shift pressure away from joints and muscles affected by arthritis to reduce pain.



Yoga is a low-impact, easy exercise that can help reduce joint inflammation, improve joint function, build strength and flexibility, and minimize arthritis-related pain. Beginner yoga is a great choice for those who have arthritis. However, be cautious of more advanced practices that require poses like balancing on one foot or bending joints more than 90-degree angles, as these can aggravate arthritis pain. 


Water Workouts

Water offers 12 times the resistance of air, so exercising in water can effectively build muscle and strength, improve balance, and increase range of motion. In addition, unlike the air, water offers a lot of support, so exercising in water can help minimize pain and reduce stress on the joints. Swimming and water aerobics are great places to start for your water workouts.


Strength Training 

Strength training exercises can help strengthen bones and muscles and help support joints. Exercises like weightlifting, push-ups, and squats can help reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling associated with arthritis. Please remember to warm up before doing any sort of strength training and make sure the exercises you choose are suitable for your specific type of arthritis. 


Relief For Your Arthritis Symptoms

It's helpful to know that regular exercise can offer you relief from pain, inflammation, and other symptoms associated with arthritis. But it's always best to talk to your doctor about what types of exercises are the most beneficial for your specific type of arthritis. 


UAB Medical West is Here for Your Arthritis Care

UAB Medical West offers specialized care for arthritis and is here to answer any questions you have about arthritis and exercising with arthritis. Our priority is to ensure you have the best possible quality of life and manageable symptoms. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact UAB Medical West today. Serving Hueytown, Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, and Vance, UAB Medical West is here for you from the first visit on!