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The Importance of Staying Active: Move It or Lose It

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The Importance of Staying Active: Move It or Lose It
The Importance of Staying Active: Move It or Lose It

There are few conditions that can impair your quality of life the way arthritis can. Literally, the term arthritis means “joint swelling.” As the condition worsens, it prevents you from participating in activities of daily living and robs you of the simple pleasures of life.

Unfortunately, many people think relying on pain medication is the only way to deal with arthritis until the inevitable joint replacement must be done. Others may control their pain by restricting their activity. Both these options offer only temporary relief at best, to say nothing about the side effects of long term pain medication use or the risk of heart disease and diabetes from a sedentary lifestyle.

The truth is any movement, where it be gentle stretching, simple bodyweight exercises, and activities such as walking the dog or mowing the lawn, can help. Moderate activity that loosens the joint and strengthens the muscles around it must be performed daily regardless of the stiffness and arthritic pain. On good days, don’t overexert yourself and on bad days force yourself to perform some light activity.

If you were an avid jogger or tennis player and had to stop because your knees couldn’t take the pounding, choose a low-impact activity like swimming or biking. Another way to get around arthritic symptoms is to keep varying your exercises so you don’t experience repetitive stress injuries and further exacerbate your condition.

Movement can even be built into your daily routine. When shopping for groceries, park further away from the store. If you work at a desk job, set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and move around every half an hour. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. By finding imaginative ways to move more, you can significantly delay the progress of arthritis.

So, get moving! When it comes to an arthritic joint, you have got to move it or you lose it.