More than 50 million Americans have arthritis, a painful condition that can grow worse over time and become debilitating in older age. Research shows that moderate activity can help improve their functioning and even prevent the progression of arthritis. So it’s especially important for arthritis sufferers to exercise regularly – a challenge, given the pain associated with the disease.
Experts say the key is to recognize the kinds of pain that are normal, and those that indicate you’ve done too much. For example, some mild pain or discomfort when you first start to move is typical, but if you start to feel better after a few minutes of activity, give yourself a green light to keep going. But if you have moderate to severe joint pain during exercise, stop – your joint is too inflamed, and may need treatment.