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Monday, October 26, 2015

Arthritis and Strength Training

Arthritis patients may not seem the most obvious candidates for adopting a strength-training or weightlifting regimen. But evidence shows that strength-training is highly beneficial to those suffering from osteoporosis and other forms of the disease.

Here's 4 reasons arthritis sufferers can benefit:
  1. Alleviate pain. A recent study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that men with rheumatoid arthritis who strength-trained three times a week over eight weeks reported a 23 percent reduction in pain (in the knees).
  2. Improve range of motion. Patients who practiced resistance training three days a week for five weeks, with equipment such as a band or by using their own body weight, exhibited similar flexibility to those not affected by arthritis who performed regular stretching routines (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research).
  3. Build muscle. Strength-training builds up muscle, which burns calories. Burning calories helps to shed fat and maintain a healthy weight. Arthritis patients who are overweight often experience more painful and severe symptoms than others due to the excess pressure put on their already stressed joints.
  4. Increase bone density. Women are robbed of nearly 50% of their bone tissue at or around the time they reached menopause. Men follow closely behind losing bone mass at a rapid once they hit 65 or 70 (National Institutes of Health). Decreased bone mass, or density, is a leading cause of arthritis. Lifting weights on a regular basis slow down this bone density loss.
The stronger and leaner the body is, the better armed it is to fight against arthritis.
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(Courtesy Arthritis Foundation)

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