Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the US. Number one. It painfully effects the lives of 50 million adults and 300,000 children nationwide. If you know someone suffering with with arthritis, I hope you will share this post.
The Arthritis Foundation proclaims May National Arthritis Awareness Month and this year the theme is “Take Action!” The goal is to raise public awareness of underused self-management interventions that can improve arthritis symptoms. Top of the list- you guessed it- physical activity.
According to Patience White, M.D., chief public health officer for the Arthritis Foundation, “Physical activity…is crucial to managing joint pain, improving mobility and reducing fatigue often associated with arthritis.”
The CDC says that “physical activity for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, reduces joint pain and stiffness in 4 to 6 weeks.” Also, physical activity has added benefit for “persons who are overweight or obese.” They “can reduce symptoms and slow arthritis progression by losing weight.”
Strength training is an especially effective type of exercise for combating painful arthritis symptoms. Research by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University showed that for older adults with osteoarthritis of the knee, strength training:
- Decreased arthritis pain by 43%
- Increased muscle strength
- Improved physical function by 44%
- Improved physical performance, quality of life and self-efficacy
Similar results have been seen in studies of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Why does strength training work so well against arthritis? Think of your muscles as shock absorbers for your joints. The stronger they are, the better they will cushion and support. Also, building muscle tissue fibers up the body’s metabolism so it burns more calories- making it easier to drop any excess weight. Losing just 10 pounds removes 30 to 50 pounds of stress from your joints!
- First, talk to your doctor about whether strength training is appropriate for you.
- Second, visit your Koko FitClub and sign up for our Arthritis HealthTrack.
This year-long HealthTrack takes full advantage of Koko Smartraining technology. There is no guess work, just a customized, progressive strength training program designed to improve your physical function and reduce the painful symptoms of arthritis. The program is safe, effective and optimized, in real-time, based on your body.
Once you are armed with the confidence that every Arthritis HealthTrack workout is the best it can be for your body, every time, with no guesswork required by you, you’ll find that starting a new strength routine to battle your arthritis isn’t hard at all.
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer