Arthritis affects more than 350 million people around the world, and it’s a leading cause of disability.
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and stiffness, and they usually get worse as we get older.
The good news is: Exercise can help.
In fact, “Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis,” as the Mayo Clinic puts it. Exercise improves strength and flexibility. It reduces joint pain. And it lessens fatigue.
“Even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight. When arthritis threatens to immobilize you, exercise keeps you moving.”
May is National Arthritis Awareness Month in the US, with messages that apply globally.
First, some statistics:
· About 53 million adults have arthritis; almost 300,000 minors (including babies) have some form of it.
· It’s the No. 1 cause of disability.
· People with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis –two major kinds of arthritis – miss a combined 172 million workdays every year.
· 57% of adults with heart disease have arthritis.
· 52% of adults with diabetes have arthritis.
· 44% of adults with high blood pressure have arthritis.
· 36% of adults who are obese have arthritis.
Let us show you how working out improves your health and fitness – and it doesn’t have to hurt your joints. We can strengthen the muscles around your joints; improve your bone strength; give you more energy; and improve your balance.
And no, exercise won’t make the joint pain and stiffness worse. When you don’t exercise, your connective muscles get weak, putting more strain on your joints – causing more arthritis pain.
Sources: Global RA Network, The Arthritis Foundation