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How To Get Back In Shape


When you decide to get back in shape and you have arthritis, you'll want to learn how to exercise, when to exercise and what kinds of exercise are best for you.

Work with your healthcare practitioner to get specific information for your condition. Find a physical therapist near you to learn what exercise programs are best for you.

Exercise vrs. Rest 

A balanced approach is needed to move forward when you have arthritis. Knowing when to range sore joints and when to rest them is important so as not to further inflame your joints.


Gently adding resistance helps to strengthen the muscles that protect your joints. Knowing how to gain strength without damaging the joint requires instruction to avoid flare ups.

Reduce inflammation before & after exercise

Always prepare a joint for exercise with proper positioning, warmth and gentle movements. After exercise, an application of ice may be beneficial.

Aquatic Exercise

One of the best ways to get back in shape when you have pain and inflammation is to exercise in water.  The bouyancy of the water reduces strain on your joints.  And you can use the smooth resistance of the water to strengthen muscles to protect your joints.  See more on Aquatic Exercise.

Nordic Walking Poles

Walking is a wonderful exercise, but arthritis in the hips, knees or back can make walking painful.  Next to walking in water, walking with nordic walking poles may be the next best thing.  The poles allow you to assume a better posture and get a more natural stride.  See more about Nordic Walking Poles to see if they are right for you.

Other Exercises for Pain

See additional information on exercises helpful for reducing and managing pain related conditions. Exercise and Pain Reduction

The Arthritis Foundation has good exercise programs to help you learn to exercise appropriately when you have arthritic joints.

The Arthritis Foundation has classes to help you exercise safely:

Find a local office near you.






Exercising in water when you have arthritis is like being given freedom to move.  For more information see our section on Aquatic Exercise.

If you find that aquatic exercises are right for you, you may want your own pool.  To research getting your own pool check with Endless Pools.

My RA Fit Kit is a site that helps you personalize your exercise program when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Modalities to Reduce inflammation and Ease Pain:

If your therapist recommends Warmth or Cold for your joints check out the following:

 Moist Heat Pad or Thermophore  - Heat is soothing.
 Ice Packs  - Can help relieve inflammation.
 Contrast Bath Instruction   - Good for reducing swelling.

Pain Relief Products and Equipment: 

 Pain Releif Products  Pain Relief Equipment

 Articles in the news:

Common Pain Relievers Associated with High Blood Pressure 

Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Should Participate in Exercise Programs 
Laurie Barclay, MD

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