When you have arthritis, all the pain and stiffness in your joints can make you want to spend your time not moving. However, staying physically active is important because exercise will keep you healthy, and it can actually reduce your arthritis symptoms. Follow these four tips to work on staying physically fit when dealing with arthritis.

Always Take Time to Warm up

For people with arthritis, your activities before you exercise will have a huge impact on how effective your workout can be. Before you begin, apply hot backs to your joints. This will help to loosen them up and prepare them for exercise. UpToDate recommends to, “start with gentle, range-of-motion exercises that take your joints through a variety of movements, and do these stretches for at least 10 minutes.”

Find Effective Pain Management

Since exercise can cause some temporary discomfort, having a good pain management strategy can be helpful. Regularly taking pain meds can increase your risk of addiction, stomach ulcers, or liver damage. The CBD Insider explains, “CBD is a promising treatment for arthritis discomfort because it has anti-inflammatory properties and lacks the side effects of many other pain medications.” CBD is a type of extract made from cannabis, but it is not psychoactive. This means you can take it without feeling high, so it will not affect your ability to exercise.

Select Low-Impact Exercises

Always select exercises that will not put stress on your joints. Things like running on hard pavement may be too tough for those with arthritis. Exercising in the water is considered one of the best ways to improve your personal fitness without putting so much stress on your joints. SheKnows suggests, “yoga is great for relaxing and it can aid in improving flexibility in stiff joints. Some poses may cause discomfort for people with RA, but be sure to speak to your instructor and they can help you improve.” Using machines like elliptical or recumbent bicycles can also help strengthen your muscles without putting wear and tear on your joints.

Rest and Recover Afterwards

Rest is important for all people trying to get fit because it gives your muscles time to heal and recover. It is particularly important for those with arthritis because it gives joint inflammation time to lower between exercises. Never exercise the same group of muscles two days in a row, and try to ice your joints after exercising. Always take it slow and have a longer break if you notice unusually sharp pain.

These tips will help you to get plenty of exercise even though you have arthritis. Staying fit while you have arthritis might require a little extra work, but in the long run it will help you to feel healthier and maintain better joint functioning.

Here’s another fitness and wellness based article we think you’ll enjoy!