It is proved that exercise is the best tool you have on your hands to fight OA and all its symptoms. It can be painful and difficult sometimes, but it is worth all the effort. Even though, you may have seen many of the items in the list below, here there are five reasons why you should love your body and your joints through exercise:
- Boost your energy levels: when you exercise your brain releases chemicals (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids) that will make you feel good and help you raise your energy levels.
- Gain confidence and combat depression: By meeting physical goals and challenges, even if they are small, you will build up physical and mental confidence. Exercise will help you take a break from negative thoughts that come with anxiety and depression.
- Gain elasticity in your joints: in your physical routine make sure you do some stretching, this will help loosen your stiff joints, gain function in them and keep them moving.
- Sleep well: if you are not having complete nights of deep good sleep, not only you levels of depression and anxiety will raise, but your OA pain will get worse. Exercising is one of the most effective ways to get nights of good sleep.
- Make your heart, lungs and muscles stronger: introducing in your physical routine some aerobics and strength exercises will get your blood flowing and therefore your heart and lungs will gain strength. Additionally, by making your muscles stronger you will mitigate the stress on your main joints.
We are meant to move and keep moving throughout our lives, and stopping will not only get our chronic pain worse (OA), but will precipitate other health problems (physical and mental). Keep moving!