The best way to prevent arthritis stiffness and pain through exe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

The best way to prevent arthritis stiffness and pain through exercise

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Exercising with arthritis is possible and full of benefits.  You have arthritis and you believe that you cannot or should not exercise. Wrong! When arthritis is a problem that is precisely the time for you to get moving says fitness expert, Carlos Rivas. "Exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness. Exercise also increases flexibility, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. Exercise helps with weight reduction and contributes to an improved sense of well-being, says Rivas the Director of Health and Well-being for Proformance.

Top 3 exercises for arthritis.

Stretching and Foam rolling:  best for normal joint movement, relieving stiffness, and maintaining or increasing flexibility. Include daily or at least every other day.

Strength Training:  weight training, resistance exercises, body weight exercises for keeping or increasing muscle strength, and supporting and protecting joints affected by arthritis. Include every other day unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joints.

Cardiovascular Endurance: biking, walking, swimming, cardio machines for improving cardiovascular fitness, controlling weight, improving overall function, and relieving inflammation in your joints. Include 20 - 30 minutes, 3x per week unless you have severe pain or swelling in your joints.

Where to Start:

·    Move your joints daily to prevent stiffness and loss of range of motion throughout the joints.

·    Exercises should be done on a regular basis. You should do them on good days and bad days, although you may have to modify the program if you are having more pain than usual.

·    An inflamed joint should only be moved gently through its range of motion.

·    It is important to listen to your body. If an exercise hurts, stop.  Pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. If you get tired, rest and continue when you are ready.

·    Always begin a session with some slow warm-up exercises to reduce stress on the joints.

·    You should attempt to achieve a full range of motion by moving until you feel a slight stretch. Do not force the motion, going only as far as you feel comfortable.

·    Strength training can be done with small free weights, exercise machines, isometrics, elastic bands, and resistive water exercises.

·    Correct positioning is critical, because if done incorrectly, strengthening exercises can cause muscle tears, more pain, and more joint swelling.

The Exercises:

a. Band pull a-parts with neck flexion: 1-2 sets of 10-12 repetitions

b. Diagonal band pull aparts with neck movement: 1-2 sets of 10-12 repetitions. 

c. Wall Push-ups: perform 1-2 sets of 10 repetitions. 

d. Wall hand rolling with lacrosse ball: 20-30 second rolling

For more information regarding our highly individualized personal training programs, simply visit us at  You can e-mail us at to receive a copy of our Ideal Performance Foods*. 

About Carlos Rivas

Carlos Rivas, MS, CSCS is the Director of Fitness and Wellness Operations @ ProFormance Fitness, LLC and FitCorp, LLC. He holds bachelor's degrees in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine and a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology. Carlos is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, National Strength and Conditioning Certified Personal Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness editor for Kentuckiana Health and Fitness Magazine, Strength and Conditioning instructor for the University of Louisville Exercise Science Program, Fitness Consultant to Ms. America Program, and has more than 20,000 hours of personal training experience. Carlos can be reached by e-mail: 
 or 502.741.9428

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