There are three main types of exercises to include in a basic exercise program:
- Range-of-motion exercises - These lessen stiffness and help with improving flexibility. "Range of motion" refers to the area within which the joints move naturally or on a daily basis. Although these range-of-motion exercises can be performed every day, it is recommended that they be done at least every other day.
- Strengthening exercises – There are two types of strengthening exercises; isometric or tightening the muscles without moving the joints, and isotonic, moving of the joints for strengthening muscle movements. It is recommended to do these sets of exercises every other day, unless you are suffering from more than mild joint pain or swelling.
- Endurance exercises – The objective of these is to increase stamina. They also help with improving your inner personal / mental strength and with improving weight control and sleep. Some of the most popular endurance exercises are stationary bike riding, walking and water exercising. And unless you are suffering from more than mild joint pain or swelling, a 20- to 30-minute workout or two to three short 10-minute bouts during the day is what is recommended, an average of three times each week. Be kind to your body, and it will be kind to you.
Let’s sum up exercise with a few tips for all:
- Establish your own unique, exercise program so that it meets you personal health needs, budget and environment. Make sure it is safe by checking with your own professional healthcare advisor and workout trainer. And take it slow and steady like Aesop’s turtle in the race.
- Be kind to yourself. Stop if something hurts. And experiment with applying heat before exercising and warming up. Then cool off afterwards with cold packs.
- Enjoy exercising by making it a real part of your life during the week. Include range-of-motion, strengthening and endurance exercises in your routines. And vary your activities; try a new class at a health club one quarter. Next time, go elsewhere or join a naturalist group for weekly hikes in local parks. Keep an active folder with pockets of gyms and health clubs near you with their schedules and up-dated classes and coupon specials. And check newspapers, local bulletin boards, postings at the gyms and clubs, etc. for healthy activities like walk-a-thons and bike-a-thons for nonprofits and evening / weekend hikes in which you can participate. You’ll meet new friends, have fun, get out more and exercise all at the same time.
Exercise activities are available all around you, too. No need to spend time and money elsewhere. You can borrow exercise videos, cassettes, DVDs and books from public libraries. You can get active by washing windows, cleaning your house, car, pet, children’s closets, your closets, anything…You can even earn money doing activities like walking and distributing flyers, local newspapers and coupons (check with companies who place these in and around your mailbox and door - they often need help).
Written by Shelley Hitz, Licensed Physical Therapist and Certified NASM Personal Trainer. If you have arthritis, she can design an online exercise program for you! Contact her today at http://www.onlinefitnesscoach.com or sign up for her FREE Exercise Advice Journal at http://www.abs-exercise-advice.com/journal.html.