Health Shorts: Don't let arthritis put you on couch

You may not feel like exercising when you have stiff, painful joints. But you should get moving anyway because exercise is good for arthritis.

A recent review of 12 randomized, controlled studies concluded that both aerobic exercise and strength training are beneficial, particularly for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Higher intensity activities seem to offer the greatest benefit. The reviewers recommended individually tailored exercise programs and suggested that patients with damage to large joints should avoid activities involving twisting or sudden joint impact.

[SOURCE: “A systematic review of the effects of dynamic exercise in rheumatoid arthritis,” Rheumatology International, August 22, 2009; “Exercise for RA,” Arthritis Self-Management, March/April, 2010]

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Last Updated June 24, 2010