What is Arthritis?
Arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is characterized by a progressive loss of cartilage. This degenerative disease is usually limited to a specific area, such as the hands, shoulders, hips or knees. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is far less common, causes the inner linings of the joints to become inflamed.
How Can Exercise Help?
For many years, doctors have recommended that their arthritic patients engage in flexibility training to help improve their range of motion and reduce some of the stiffness in their afflicted joints. In recent years, many have begun to recognize the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and strength training as well. Not only does a well rounded exercise program reduce the risk of heart disease and increase mobility, it helps to reduce the physchological and emotional pain that often accompanies the development of any disease or disorder.