Is Walking Good for Osteoarthritis?

It’s undeniable that exercise plays a key role in helping to keep your body fit and healthy. Although you have osteoarthritis (OA), a common joint problem related to the age that typically affects knees, hips, and spines – this doesn’t mean you can ignore exercise. And walking is one of best recommendations. It is good to train and strengthen the muscles around the joint.

Overview in general

There are only about 23 percent of all people with OA who meet the current suggestion for physical activity, according to a national survey funded by CDC (the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

image_illustration218In general, it is recommended for sufferers to take a walk on most days of the week. This is simple strategy but actually can be so essential to help reduce the joint pain and ease other symptoms.

Walking is easy exercise for everyone, even though if you have arthritis. Overall, it is also great for other organs of your body such as your heart and brain.

Unfortunately, this joint disease is also a risk factor of becoming a sedentary individual. More half of sufferers with arthritis only spend less than one and a half hour per week for walking. And about 53 percent skip walk at all exercise.

When the osteoarthritis pain strikes, it is human nature to avoid anything that can worsen it. And you are more likely to avoid exercise or other physical activities when your knee, spine, or hip hurts. Though this strategy seems to make sense, but actually it is not the real answer!

Being inactive is a nightmare for your weight control. Less physical activity means fewer calories that you burn. As a result, you are easier to gain more pounds of excessive fat and weight.

And in fact, obesity or overweight can put more pressure on the joint, worsening any joint disease including for arthritis. Find other reasons why you need to stay active with regular exercise even though you have osteoarthritis in this previous post!

Walking is good, but …

Though nowadays there are lots of kinds of exercise to choose from, but walking is still one of the most popular choices to keep active. Even it has become your daily routine.

Still, walking can give impact on the joint especially to the knee joint. But this impact is currently considered safe for all kind of arthritis.

However, doing the exercise regularly is the key. Even the most fun exercise can be tedious if it is the only one you do every day. For this reason, it’s also important to choose a wide variety of exercise.

Fortunately, walking is not the only one choice for people with osteoarthritis. There are other good exercises that can be as good as walking – even some are much more recommended.

In choosing exercise for arthritis, the key is choosing one that can ‘maximally’ help strengthen the muscles around the joint but cause strain ‘as minimal as possible’ on the affected joint.

Other alternative choices are exercises in the water (such as swimming), bicycling, or other exercises with low impact on the joint.

Your exercising program also should include strength training to keep your bone and muscles strong. But since your joint is affected, there are some adjustments you need to concern. Work with a professional trainer to keep safe!

How to start walking safely if you have osteoarthritis (OA)?

Getting started is the major problem when you want to start your exercising program, even though you don’t have arthritis. And this can be a particularly daunting task if you also have a health condition such as OA.

Now you know that it is always important to keep active by doing exercise regularly and moderately. For summary, below are some main benefits you can get from exercise if you have OA:

  1. Helpful to improve the level of muscle strength.
  2. For burning some calories so thus you have a better control on your weight.
  3. The most effective way to cope with the limited range of motion in the affected joint.
  4. For better endurance.
  5. And overall, exercise and physical therapy can help improve the balance and your living skills.

If you want to use walking as a part of your exercising program, the following are some helpful checklists you need to read: