The commonest mistake is avoidance of exercise. This, in time, leads to more stiffness, reduced strength and compromised cardiovascular fitness. Inactivity further weakens the body, leading to a vicious cycle that accelerates de-conditioning of the body.
Always consult your physician for specific exercise recommendations.
Stretch every day
The most important exercises are stretching exercises to preserve range of motion and flexibility around each joint. Even inflamed joints can be put through a gentle stretch routine with the assistance of a therapist.
Strength training exercises using lightweights is an excellent way to build bone strength. Isometric strength exercises are often used to strengthen joints. Do these exercises only when pain and joint inflammation are under control.
Low impact cardio exercise
In the past, treatment of arthritis excluded aerobic exercise for fear of increasing joint pain. Aerobic exercise is, however, safe and effective when the joint inflammation is not acute. Low impact cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, cycling and walking are wonderful ways to improve fitness.
Recreational exercises such as golf and gardening improve both fitness and the state of mind.
Swimming / aqua exercises
Swimming is probably the closest you can get to a perfect form of exercise. It is a non-weight bearing activity and places little stress on the joints. That is why working out in the water is a great exercise for those who have arthritis, back or joint pains. The combination of buoyancy and resistance of the water makes this sport ideal for working out without the risk of injury. It tones the entire body while providing an excellent cardiovascular workout.