Question: Which Sports/Exercises Are Less Likely To Bother My Arthritis?
Answer: Well, there's been a revolution in exercise with patients with chronic arthritis. About 10 years ago, we probably would've told you that you need to take it easy for fear of damaging your joints. But there are more and more studies suggesting that aerobic exercise is certainly useful and there are even some studies suggesting that strength training and weightlifting may be of use. But with this, I would suggest that you be cautious and at least speak to your doctor and your healthcare provider before deciding to do either of those.
Now, most sports involve a mixture of those two activities -- so certainly aerobic activities like swimming; there are aqua exercises that often are sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, that do not include swimming, but include exercising in the pool; these are heartily recommended by most rheumatologists and physicians.
Bicycling may be useful, but exercises that put the body at risk, and sports that may cause injury are ones that I think most of us would probably caution you against. I certainly have patients in Arizona that do extensive hiking and long-distance bicycling. And as long as this doesn't cause them undue discomfort and they take medications to help control their disease activity, we usually encourage these.
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