Working out with arthritis? Don’t make these fitness mistakes

Working out with arthritis pain is not advisable, but one may still follow a low intensity exercise routine and avoid these workout mistakes.
types of arthritis
Steer clear of making these exercise mistakes if you’ve arthritis. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Shifa Khan Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 01:05 pm IST
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Ladies, exercising and working out with arthritis is beneficial, but if performed in a wrong manner, it might complicate your condition. For the uninitiated, arthritis is a disease that causes one or more joints to swell and become tender. The most frequent symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which often increase with age. The health problem may limit your movement and comfort. And such scenarios have been on the rise, especially among women and youth, which is cause for concern.

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Akhilesh Yadav, Associate Director – Orthopedics and Joint Replacement, Max Hospital, Vaishali, who listed the common mistakes one makes while working out in arthritis.

Dr Yadav says, “Arthritis affects one out of every four persons in the country. Arthritis can be caused by ageing and joint wear and tear (Osteoarthritis) or by an autoimmune illness (Rheumatoid arthritis). This condition makes it very crucial to take care of your body movements while working out and during day to day chores.”

“Most doctors recommend exercise and physical activities to minimize pain and other symptoms, in addition to the correct diet and medicines. However, as Arthritis compromises the health of our joints, bones, and muscles, it may impair our capacity to perform and recover from certain activities,” adds Dr Yadav.

Here are 10 most common mistakes to avoid while working out with arthritis:

1. Not warming up or not stretching out before exercise

Warming up is of prime importance if you want to prevent straining your joints, which is what high-intensity workouts may do if you don’t start with one. Warming up prepares your body for exercise and helps you avoid injury, missed heartbeats, and early tiredness, which is especially important if you’re doing high-intensity exercises. You must allow your body to move in all directions during stretching exercises. They keep your muscles relaxed and your tendons and ligaments supple.

2. Going overboard

Dr Yadav says, “When it comes to working out with arthritis, the first step is to start slowly. Arthritis impacts negatively on your joints and makes them more vulnerable to injury. To have a suitable training schedule, gradually increase the flexibility of your joints.

3. Using inclined treadmill

The treadmill’s incline setting, as well as hiking as a training activity, may aggravate your arthritis. Incline walking and running put a lot of strain on your knees and leg joints, which can make your symptoms of arthritis even more worse.

4. Not drinking enough water

It is mandatory to keep drinking water during the day and during your entire workout routine. Because 1/2 to 3/4th of the human body is made up of water and requires lubrication in its joints, a lack of water in the body impacts negatively on joint health.

old water
Cold water can really leave your health feeling cold and blue. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Incorrect posture

“Exercising with poor posture might do more damage than benefit. When starting to work out , always make sure to first get proper guidance. Incorrect posture can harm the Skeletal System, exacerbating the discomfort of osteoarthritis. Bad posture can disrupt joint equilibrium, causing connective tissue to wear down and bone to bone contact,” Dr Yadav told Health Shots

6. Inadequate breathing

Increased tension, blood pressure, anxiety, muscle tightness, and a reduced cardiovascular output can all result from incorrect breathing. Take breaks between sessions to rest and avoid overtraining. Oxygen aids in the proper functioning of your joints and tissues. Joint and muscular discomfort might be exacerbated by a lack of oxygen.


Keep an idea of your risk of weight-related issues.

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Working out with arthritis requires lesser stress on your joints and controlled breathing. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Not sticking to a schedule

Consistency is another crucial component in maintaining the health of your joints. Regular exercise allows your joints to move freely and remain flexible. A lack of regularity may generate more stress than it relieves.

8. Skipping rope

This is a total no-no for arthritis patients. Skipping is another exercise that may impact negatively on your joints and exacerbate your arthritis. Exercises which can affect your knees or other joints should be avoided.

belly fat after menopause
Skipping is one of the simplest and most result-oriented exercises EVER but it is not for the ones with arthritis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

9. Climbing stairs

“Climbing stairs, like skipping, is another exercise that might aggravate arthritis. Although it may appear to be a simple and quick workout, it may increase your problems in the long run,” advises Dr Yadav.

10. Consumption of painkillers before exercising

If you’re consuming arthritis medicine or pain relievers, make sure there’s adequate time between when you take your medicines and when you start working out. The medications may hide any injuries or strains you experience throughout your workout.

In the end, a variety of circumstances have an impact on the health of your joints. If you have already been diagnosed with arthritis, you should discuss your diet and lifestyle with your doctor. Your doctor may urge you to adopt some healthy dietary, lifestyle, and exercise modifications. Apart from that, make sure to have a clear understanding of the safe workouts you may do.

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About the Author

An aesthete and a skincare junkie, Shifa spends most of her time cooking delish food while wearing a sheet mask. At HealthShots, she creates high-octane content that can leave you all a little intrigued! ...Read More

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