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Exercise and Arthritis Pain by Holly Hierman

This is something that I have been dealing with for approximately fifteen years. As a former gymnast and because of excessive working out, like a lot of athletes, I had developed the mindset that if it didn't "hurt" it wasn't working. I continued with this mindset as I was teaching group fitness classes, often as many as fifteen classes per week, believing that it was doing my body good.

I wish I would have thought more about what this might be doing to my joints, as I was even feeling the aches and pains every day even in my twenties. I have come to realize is that if I just listen to my body and make adjustments, and modify certain exercises, I can keep my joints from the aches and pains I had experienced for so long. I run many online fitness trainings and through modification have helped not only myself with decreasing the amount of pain associated with my arthritis, but also many other people as well.

First and foremost you must listen to what your body is telling you. If something is painful, you need to listen and modify. Your body needs to last a very long time and if your exercise plan gives you more pain than benefits, it is time to switch it up. The joint pain doesn't have to mean you give up working out it just means there are different ways to get your workout done in ways that can help reduce arthritis pain.

Throughout my education, and my degree in kinesiology, I continued learning about all the things that related to exercise and how it affects your body. Although I have been in the fitness industry for over twenty years now, it was not until just recently that I have begun to listen to my body more and learn to modify to allow your body to continue to exercise.

With regards to your own fitness journey, it is going to take a lot of turns, with regards to what you enjoy or find yourself doing at that time. Recently I have been into cycling, which has shown me to listen to my body. I know now to listen to what the aches and pains are telling me to do, which is to modify if the aches and pains get too much. Movements that do not include high impact are usually best for people with arthritis, but you need to listen to what your body is telling you, well after the workout as well.

Most of all is to keep moving. Exercise gives you mobility as well as flexibility, and longevity. Please reach out to me for more information and share with anyone you know that may benefit from this.

My top 5 tips for dealing with Arthritis:

1) Listen to your body. Don't do anything that "hurts" but instead, continuously pay attention to your effected areas and decrease range of motion and/or modify as you need in order to continue. 2) If you're in pain later in the day or the next few days from one particular workout, scale it back on the next workout until you find the right level of intensity for you.

3) When inflamed, use ice to help alleviate the pain. 4) If you find yourself stiff and sore after a workout, often a hot bath with epsom salts will help decrease aches and pains.

5) Do not do the forms of exercise that hurt you. You may need to find another form of exercise (more than likely low impact) that you can do in order to maintain an active lifestyle.

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