Nearly one in four Americans have arthritis, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And as the population continues to age, the CDC expects this number to rise. If you or someone you know is affected by arthritis, joint pain and other mobility issues, you don’t have to let it stop you from using these arthritis exercises to get strong and strengthen immunity.
The Exercise and Immunity Connection
As we age, our immune system’s strength and ability to respond to infections and illnesses starts to decrease. This may be due to numerous factors, such as a drop in our body’s thymic proteins. Regardless of the WHY, it’s clear that aging and a weaker immune system go hand-in-hand with aging and joint issues.
Yet exercise continues to be one of the most well-researched, proven ways to enhance your immune system and strengthen immunity. For example:
- Exercise helps white blood cells circulate through your body faster, which may help your immune system respond to infections quicker.
- A workout raises your body’s temperature. This elevated heat may kill off some viruses and bacteria.
- Exercise reduces stress, and stress weakens your immunity.
- A brand-new animal study discovered that mice who exercised and were fit, and then were infected with germs, successfully overcame the infection more effectively than sedentary mice.
Alas, there’s a big myth that if you have joint pain and/or arthritis, you should avoid strenuous exercise. The opposite is true, even for older seniors, overweight individuals, and people who’ve never worked out before.
Numerous studies have shown that:
- Exercise does not cause arthritis.
- Exercise, if done properly, doesn’t worsen arthritis and joint pain.
- Regular exercise may even reduce joint pain and improve overall joint health and joint mobility.
The key is using the right workouts that keep your joint issues in mind. Here are some effective exercise options to get strong, protect and heal your joints, and strengthen immunity.
Low-Impact Arthritis Exercise for a Stronger Immune System
Yoga offers a wide range of variety for athletes and individuals of all backgrounds. If you want a strenuous, sweaty workout, you can try hatha yoga, hot yoga, and similar forms of athletic movement.
In fact, one study out of Colorado State University found that men burned an incredible 460 calories and women burned 330 calories in a single hot yoga session.
If you want gentler movements for your arthritis exercises, yin yoga and similar slow, contemplative movements may be your best bet.
Regardless of what you choose, yoga gets your heart rate up, lubricates your joints, strengthens and tones, and is low-impact so you aren’t putting improper stress on your joints and tendons.
Because of water’s buoyancy, swimming torches fat, strengthens muscles and burns calories, all while minimizing any pressure or stress on your joints.
And we aren’t talking about simply swimming laps, although that’s a powerful workout on its own.
You could try:
- lifting weights in a pool
- water aerobics
- water dance classes
- aquatic running and walking
Swimming pool arthritis exercises are as versatile as they’re fun!
3. Machine-Based Workouts
If you go to the gym, even if it’s a home gym, you likely have access to machines like a cycling machine, an elliptical, or a rowing machine.
Machine-based workouts guide you through a restricted, controlled range of motion so you don’t push your joints and tendons too far.
Plus, the machine helps support you and reduces any form of heavy impact.
For instance, if you were to run on the road, the impact of your feet on the concrete may stress your joints.
However, using a step machine, you mimic the same movements but without the same impact!
As you age, your thymus gland shrinks and essentially disappears. This is big news because this gland produces thymic proteins, which is critical for the proper functioning of your immune system. Researchers have developed BioPro-Plus 500, which contains bio-identical thymic proteins to stimulate your immune system. If you’re worried about aging-related reductions in your immune system’s strength, talk to your doctor or naturopath if a thymic protein supplement is right for you!
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