When you’re experiencing joint pain caused by arthritis, you may also have reduced mobility or chronic pain and may not feel like exercising or any other form of physical activity. Taking up joint-friendly and low impact exercises can help improve joint pain, muscle flexibility, circulation, movement issues, stress and your overall well being. Activities like walking, biking and swimming is a great place to start but it’s important to know what works for you and to modify your exercises when necessary to reduce the risk of injury.
For Arthritis Awareness Month in September, we’ve rounded up some useful everyday exercises (no equipment required!) to help you get active safely. Try out these simple exercises today.
Laying on your side with your knees bent to 90 degrees, slowly lift and lower the top knee. Keep your pelvis stable and your core active. Try 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. The clamshell is a great exercise to improve pelvis alignment during standing activities and for preventing knee pain.
2. Sit to stand
Sit down onto a chair, without using the arm rests, stand up and then sit back down. Repeat 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. This is a great exercise to strengthen your thigh muscles.
3. Calf raises
Standing next to a wall that you can hold onto if needed, lift up onto your tip toes and then lower back down to the ground. Repeat 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. To make this harder, try doing it on only one leg (make sure you hold on to something for balance). Calf raises are a great exercise to keep your ankles strong and to help with push off while walking.
For the complete list of exercises to stay active without equipment, visit Altum Health, a University Health Network (UHN) rehabilitation service.
Thanks to Tamara Gotal, Advanced Practice Provider (Physiotherapist Practitioner) in the Foot and Ankle Rapid Access Clinic at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute for her help with these joint-friendly exercises and Altum Health at UHN.
The Schroeder Arthritis Institute continues to revolutionize arthritis care – advancing new innovations and discoveries to stop arthritis in its tracks. Learn more about arthritis at UHN, here.