The Benefits of Exercise for Arthritis Management

April 26, 2023by Phenix Health

Exercise for Arthritis: The benefits of exercise are many, and they should be a part of everyone’s arthritis management plan. It can help reduce pain and stiffness and increase flexibility, muscle strength, cardiac fitness and endurance.

A good fitness routine can improve balance for people with arthritis, helping them avoid falls that can be dangerous. It can also help prevent weight gain and reduce swelling in affected joints.

Arthritis is a common condition that can cause joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. While there are medications and other treatments available to manage arthritis symptoms, exercise is also an effective way to improve joint mobility and reduce pain.

Exercise for Arthritis Management

At Phenix Health, our online doctors in Australia can provide telehealth consultations and online prescriptions for the management of arthritis.

Exercise for Arthritis


Exercise is an effective treatment for many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It can reduce pain, improve joint stability and flexibility, and help you feel better. It can also decrease fatigue and improve mood.

Strengthening exercises, also known as resistance training, can be a useful part of an arthritis management program. These exercises strengthen muscles and can be performed with a variety of weights, machines or your own body weight.

It’s important to consult a trained health professional when beginning strength training. This includes a physical therapist or a certified personal trainer with experience working with people who have arthritis.

A therapist or trainer can explain the best way to lift weights safely, show you how much weight to use and recommend appropriate exercises that will fit your needs and fitness goals. They can also give you helpful hints about how often to do strength training and help you plan your workouts so you don’t overtrain.

You can build strength by performing exercises that challenge your joints to move in different directions, such as squats or push-ups. These exercises can strengthen the muscles that surround the joints, which reduces pain and stiffness.

Generally, you should do strength training exercises two to three times a week. You can start with a low amount of weight and work your way up over time.

Before you begin, make sure to warm up and stretch your muscles. This will improve the circulation of blood to your muscles, which can help prevent muscle injuries.

Be careful with your form during your exercise, especially during the last few reps of each set and when you are trying to get more repetitions with less weight. Be gentle with your hands and wrists, too.

Avoid extreme neck movements that put too much pressure on the back of your neck, which can aggravate symptoms in people with RA. If you’re not sure how to do a yoga pose correctly, consult a yoga expert who knows the poses that are safe for arthritis patients without stressing joints.

You can also perform exercises that don’t involve moving joints, such as isometrics. These exercises are performed using an alternating series of isolated muscle flexes and periods of relaxation. These exercises don’t place too much pressure on painful joints and can be done safely with light weights or household objects.


Endurance training is an important component of any physical fitness program. It helps improve your overall health and stamina, increases the amount of oxygen your body can use, lowers your blood pressure and improves your heart function.

Exercise that combines endurance training and strength training can help you strengthen muscles and bones. This will help reduce joint pain and stiffness.

Many people with arthritis fear that exercising will make their symptoms worse, but the opposite is true. Regular exercise can help you manage arthritis symptoms, such as pain and stiffness, while also boosting your energy levels.

A good way to get started is by finding a local gym or community center where you can join an exercise class or take advantage of a trainer. A personal trainer can design an exercise program that is specifically designed for you, taking into account your arthritis symptoms and other health conditions.

If you are unsure how to start, consider starting with light exercises, such as walking, or try resistance training (such as weights) for a few weeks before moving on to more rigorous activities. Consult with a doctor or physical therapist before you start a new exercise routine, and be sure to listen to your body.

Running and jogging are excellent exercises for those with arthritis, but you may need to adjust your pace to suit your current level of fitness. You can even try a run-walk method where you alternate between briskly walking and running for a few minutes at a time to keep your heart rate up, says Christopher Martey, musculoskeletal first contact physiotherapist at Versus Arthritis in London.

Cycling is another good option for those with arthritis, as it doesn’t place the same stress on your joints. It’s also easier on your knees and hips, reducing your risk of injury.

In addition to enhancing your cardiovascular and muscle health, endurance training can also boost your flexibility. Flexibility is especially important for people with arthritis, as it can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent falling.

Strengthening exercises can also be beneficial for those with arthritis, and can include weightlifting, Pilates, yoga, and other forms of resistance training. These exercises can help you build strength in your legs, chest, back, biceps and triceps. It’s a good idea to work with a physiotherapist or an exercise physiologist to create a comprehensive program that is safe for your particular arthritis.


Flexibility training can have a variety of benefits for arthritis management. It reduces pain and stiffness, improves circulation and boosts athletic performance. It also helps to prevent injury. It can be done alone or with a trainer.

A therapist can help you develop an exercise plan that’s right for you. They can assess your current level of activity, prescribe an appropriate amount of exercise, and provide individualized flexibility exercises.

The first step is to determine what your current range of motion is for each joint and how flexible you are. This is a very important step for your health and fitness goals.

This can be measured using a variety of devices, including goniometers and inclinometers. These can be used to measure and compare a client’s joint flexibility against accepted normal values.

Many factors affect flexibility, such as age, gender, joint structure and muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalance can decrease range of motion and cause the joint to have less ROM than it should, and can increase the chance for injury.

For example, a person with poor knee flexibility may have a tendency to sprain their ankles or knees when lifting weights or walking up stairs. This can make it difficult to do everyday activities like standing up from a chair or carrying heavy groceries.

The goal of a good flexibility program is to allow a client to move through their full range of motion without restriction. This can be achieved with dynamic stretches that are integrated into warm-up and cool-down periods or in addition to other movements in the exercise conditioning bout (24).

A trainer should supervise stretching to ensure that clients are moving through their full range of motion while avoiding injury. They should also instruct their clients to use a slow and gentle motion.

They should also be sure to stop if they feel pain or stiffness during the stretch. They should then gradually ease back into the movement until they are comfortable.

Another benefit of flexibility training is that it can improve coordination. It can also help to prevent a number of injuries, such as tennis elbow.

Mental Health

In addition to reducing pain, physical exercise can help people cope with arthritis symptoms and boost their mood. Studies show that a wide range of types of physical activities, such as walking, yoga, tai chi, cycling (outdoor or stationary), and water exercise, improve depression, pain, and other arthritis symptoms.

The best type of exercise for your arthritic condition depends on which joints and muscles are affected. For example, you may be better off with endurance exercises such as running or cycling than with flexibility and strengthening activities such as yoga.

Mental health training is also an important component of a comprehensive arthritis management plan. It can teach patients proven ways to manage their symptoms, reduce stress and take their medications the right way.

Self-management education workshops, such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, have been found to increase self-efficacy and reduce depressive symptoms, fatigue, and pain (2). CDC works with partners to disseminate these programs nationally and in communities (3).

Problem-solving therapy is an evidence-based treatment for people with anxiety and other problems, such as depression (4). The treatment involves learning and practicing skills to resolve problems that are causing distress, such as avoiding or coping with a traumatic experience or managing a new health problem. It is recommended for older adults with high levels of distress and anxiety, although it can be used by anyone (5).

Several studies have shown that psychosocial interventions are effective in preventing or alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety in RA patients, with positive effects often lasting for months or years. However, there are still some limitations in our understanding of the effectiveness of these treatments in RA patients.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is one of the most effective psychological therapies for a wide range of mental disorders and is particularly suitable for individuals with RA who have high levels of distress. Its effectiveness is attributed to its ability to alter the patient’s thinking patterns and behavior.

CBT is the most widely used and is backed up by strong evidence. It has the strongest impact on depressive symptoms in RA and has been shown to prevent relapses of the disorder when administered early in the course of the illness. The intervention can be tailored to the individual, with a particular focus on changing negative thoughts and promoting positive ones.

In conclusion, exercise is an effective way to manage the symptoms of arthritis and improve joint mobility. Whether it’s through low-impact activities like swimming or cycling, or through strength training exercises to improve muscle support around affected joints, regular exercise can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

At Phenix Health, our online doctors in Australia can provide advice and online prescriptions to help you manage your arthritis symptoms and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to learn more about our telehealth services and online prescription clinic.