A common barrier to exercise and fitness is having an ailment such as arthritis. Arthritis is one of the most common causes of physical disability among Canadians. The term arthritis refers to more than 100 different diseases that affect areas in or around the joints. Although the risk for arthritis increases with age, people of all ages can be affected. It can mean slight levels of discomfort to severe pain with or without movement and can limit movements and thus activity. When one limits their amount of activity is can also mean that they are limiting components of fitness. They can have difficulty in range of motion, and flexibility, have a harder time being able to complete aerobic activity, and have increased difficulty with balance. This means that aside from the joint pain, it can also impact the persons overall health.
Arthritis-related pain and disability affect many aspects of life including daily activities, leisure, work, sleep quality and thus energy and stress level, finances and social activities. Thus physical disuse can have a dramatic effect on strength, cardiovascular function, mobility and physical as well as mental health.
Too little exercise can cause muscle weakness, pain and stiffness. With physician recommendation, most people will be advised to undertake some additional form of physical activity. Properly designed exercise as well as a healthy weight is an integral part of the management strategy for arthritis. Program goals in general for arthritis are to: restore or maintain the joint range of motion, relieve stiffness, restore or maintain muscle strength, interrupt the chronic pain cycle, improve or maintain cardiorespiratory endurance and to maximize pulmonary function, improve posture and body awareness, promote relaxation and enhance quality of life.
Exercise and Arthritis Course- DSW Fitness, HK