Arthritis and Exercise
Regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do to manage your arthritis and improve your quality of life. Exercise will reduce pain, keep you moving, restore flexibility and protect your joints against further damage.
Research supports a whole host of other benefits when you exercise as well, such as:
- Helping you sleep better
- Lifting your mood and mental wellbeing
- Reducing stress levels
- Lifting your confidence and self esteem
- Helping with weight management
- Promoting good heart and lung health
- Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
- Managing blood sugar levels (diabetes)
- Improving strength and balance
- Giving you more energy
So why isn’t everyone with arthritis exercising?
The top 7 concerns our educators hear from people with arthritis are:
- I am afraid exercise will make my pain worse or aggravate my condition.
- I don’t know what to do or how to get started.
- I lack the motivation to do it on my own.
- It is hard to get going when I am in pain.
- I don’t have the time.
- I don’t have the energy when I feel tired.
- I have tried before and didn’t stick with it.
Arthritis New Zealand is working with Exercise New Zealand to compile a national directory of exercise classes that may be helpful for people with arthritis. Below are some links to useful services that can help you get moving:
Green Prescription – go to www.health.govt.nz and search for Green Prescription to find the agency in your area. You can self-refer or you can ask your GP to refer you.
Register of Exercise Professionals – www.reps.org.nz and look up a registered exercise professional in your area.
Balance and Strength classes – www.livestronger.org.nz and look up an accredited class in your area.
Health Navigator – www.healthnavigator.org.nz This is a comprehensive website with lots of useful information about managing long term conditions.
Download the exercise book Arthritis Exercises To Keep You Moving.
Visit our YouTube channel, navigate to the exercise playlist and watch our exercise videos
Have an Arthritis Educator phone you!
To save some time over the phone, fill out the online form and let an Arthritis Educator call you back at a time that’s convenient for you.