4 Effective Ways To Exercise With Arthritis

Exercising with arthritis

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Last Updated on July 12, 2022 by Andrew Blakey

Exercising With Arthritis

When your joints hurt and you’re diagnosed with arthritis it probably doesn’t sound fun to exercise. That being said, exercise has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and ultimately reduce pain.

It can be challenging to find the right exercise for you when it comes to considering your likes with exercise and your needs for your joints. Nonetheless, exercising with arthritis has been shown to restore and preserve flexibility and strength, and protect against further damage. Experts have outlined the best low-impact, high results exercises for you and your joints. Whether you are new to exercise or looking to add something new to your routine; you’ve got options.

Exercise can be truly life changing. However, if you’re an aging adult it’s important to do it the proper way. Below are 4 activities you can consider doing with arthritis or check out this other article about 5 Benefits Of Strength Training For Older Adults.

Water Aerobics

Water aerobics is a type of exercise that increases your heart rate and gets your body moving all under water. There are numerous benefits for the joints when it comes to exercising under water because the water provides buoyancy for the joints, which takes the stress off of the joints while also providing resistance to build your muscles. Exercising with arthritis via water aerobics can be a low impact activity to help you maintain and improve your fitness.

Exercising with arthritis using water aerobics

A research study done in 2016 demonstrates that water aerobics provides a decrease in pain and an improvement of quality of life in participants with osteoarthritis.

If you are looking for a creative way to get your exercise in and decrease pain in one session; water aerobics may be for you.


Cycling is one of the best exercises to participate in while managing joint pain. It is a low-impact form of exercise which means it limits the pressure put on the joints. 

In addition, cycling helps lubricate the hip, knee and ankle joints which in turn reduces pain and stiffness.  Furthermore, a study done by Luan, et al. demonstrates that stationary cycling significantly reduces stiffness and pain (2021). 

Exercise with cycling while having arthritis

Exercising with arthritis by utilizing both outdoor and stationary cycling is a great option to stay active and healthy while managing you arthritis symptoms.


The Arthritis Foundation states that people living with arthritis who participate in yoga improve flexibility and function and have reduced joint pain.  There are various types of yoga practices that can be followed to improve the discomfort of arthritis.

A study done in 2019 states the using yoga as a mind-body intervention decreases inflammation in the body; which decreases pain while managing arthritis.

Exercise with arthritis using yoga

Moreover, hot yoga is an alternative to yoga used to decrease inflammation in the body while improving range of motion and decreasing pain for people living with arthritis. A study done in 2020 demonstrates the positive impact hot yoga plays on improving mobility and flexibility as well as decreasing inflammation in the body.

Yoga is a great mode of exercise to consider in order to decrease pain and increase overall strength and endurance in your body.


The elliptical machine is a great alternative to running or jogging for someone living with arthritis. The cardio machine provides low-impact cardiovascular work on your body when used correctly.

The fluid movement of the elliptical allows your knees, hips and ankles to glide gracefully without putting pressure on the joints which can be a great alternative with exercising with arthritis.

In 2018 a study was done on middle-aged women with knee pain. The study shows that low-impact exercise significantly decreases knee pain.

exercise on the elliptical for arthritis

Using the elliptical machine is an effective mode of exercise to improve your cardiovascular health while being mindful of the arthritis pain you may have in your joints.


Exercise And You

Although it may sound counterproductive, exercise is the best modality to manage arthritic pain. There are a variety of options to choose from when deciding which form of exercise works best for you. It is important for you to try multiple modes to find the best exercise routine for you to both manage your pain and create a balanced lifestyle. 

Want To Learn More?

If you found this article helpful, consider reading our other article about some of the many benefits of strength training for older adults!

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Article Written By Certified Personal Trainer Shaquelle H.

Shaquelle Is a graduate of Kinesiology and certified personal trainer who works with Your Future Fitness to help individuals take control of their health and live healthier happier lives!

She specializes in helping women to have a positive relationship with food and exercise!

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