Many people think exercising with arthritis will damage your joints even more, but research suggests exercise is an essential tool in managing your arthritis pain.
Rheumatologists say "motion is lotion" for your joints. Exercise reduces joint pain and stiffness, and builds muscle around the joints.
Doctors say flexibility, strength, and aerobic exercises are all good choices.
Water-based therapy works well, too. You're buoyant, which makes it a little easier to move, but the resistance of the water helps to build strength.
It's important not to try to do too much, too soon, and to find an exercise program that works for you.
"If you're really feeling it the next day, pain all over is getting a lot worse, then you want to modify it back a little bit. So, instead of exercising every other day, we might want to go down to once a week until that body part heals," said Cleveland Clinic Rheumatologist Dr. Elaine Husni.
Dr. Husni says to consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.