Exercise and arthritis- what does scientific research recommend? Arthritis Series 1 of 3

Many of the personal training clients who work with Vintage Fitness trainers have some form of arthritis.  The arthritis societies booklet about arthritis and exercise says that:

The word arthritis means inflammation of the joint ("arth" meaning joint and "itis" meaning inflammation).Inflammation is a medical term describing pain,stiffness,redness and swelling. There are more than 100 types of arthritis.Some are caused by joint inflammation,while others are caused by joint degeneration. Arthritis is among the leading causes of disability in Canada, affecting nearly 4.5 million people of every age,physical condition and ethnic background."  Here is a link to the complete booklet

The most common among our client base is osteoarthritis in the knees, shoulders, hips and hands

Symptoms include stiffness in the joint (especially in the morning), potential loss of range of motion and pain when doing certain movements. 

There are many scientific research studies which highlight the benefits of exercising for people with arthritis. 

  • Arthritis Care and Research conducted a study with 346 people (mean age of 70) who participated in an 8 week PACE (hour long low impact exercise program developed by the arthritis society). Individuals who attended the class for four months were found to have reduced their pain by 24 percent and increased confidence in their ability to continue activities by 22 percent

Volume 59Issue 1pages 92–101January 2008

"Managing arthritis with exercise"  a study in geriatric nursing explains that "Regular exercise is an important therapeutic intervention for all types of arthritis. Specifically, regular exercise can prevent deconditioning of the muscles, keep the joints stable, improve joint function and flexibility, decrease pain, enhance aerobic fitness, improve balance, and decrease falls. A comprehensive exercise program should include stretching exercises followed by a range-of-motion program for joints, muscle strengthening, and aerobic exercise" (Volume 22, Issue 3, May–June 2001, Pages 143–150)

Low impact and strength exercises are an important part of managing the symptoms of your arthritis.  Next week I will cover tips for exercising with arthritis and the following week I will develop an arthritis exercise program.  If you have questions about exercise and arthritis or live in the Greater Toronto Area and would like a personal trainer to work with you drop me a note erin@vintagefitness.ca.

Good Luck!


Vintage Fitness & Spirit50

Phone: 416-951-7978

Vintage Fitness is an in home personal training company in Toronto, Canada.  We specialize in energizing the lives of people over 50 with exercise. 

Spirit50 is an On-line personal training with an expert in 50+ fitness.  Inspiring movement for life.

Vintage Fitness, Fitness for 50 plus, Toronto

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