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The Strain Factor
Last review: 08/12/10  JR Rogers
As those who read this column know, I have recommendations that I know will help you to deal with the affects of arthritis. And, by now they are pretty well known.

First, use a high-quality liquid Glucosamine for pain relief and to maintain general joint health. Second, eat sensibly and keep your weight down. And finally, get some exercise.

It is safe to say that most who have health issues should discuss any proposed exercise with their physicians. This is just being prudent. For those who have arthritis, there is an issue of "how much and what to do?"

If you have arthritis, whether Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis you have to be a little cautious. I tend to lean toward the low-impact exercise regimens myself. After all, exercise is essential to maintaining joint strength but at the same time, a little caution is just common sense.

Exercise does put stress on joints. Make no mistake about that. For those with arthritis in the lower extremities like the hip or knee areas, you are getting far more body weight bearing on those affected joints.

How much is too much?
The issue of strain really turns on a number of factors but likely the most important is the extent of damage you are dealing with. If you have a lot of damage, it would be smart to stay with exercise that puts little stress on the joints; that is, of course, walking or any exercise you can get in water. Those are favorites of mine.

Exercise machines that are designed to emulate walking or even some with slight inclines are OK. Just don't push yourself too hard. Frankly, I never saw much need for these. There is no expense in going out for a walk. Far too many people invest in these devices only to sit and gather dust. I know all about that myself.

What you do not want to do!
If you have joint damage, the high-impact sports are out of the question. That is playing basketball, baseball or similar sports. Of course, many athletes who are in great physical condition often get by with continuing these activities by using a good liquid Glucosamine and being sensible in their approach. In general, those sports should be avoided if you have any concerns about joint damage.

I have said this before and will say it again, "exercise is essential to those who have arthritis and you do not have to go overboard." Just make certain that exercise is part of your lifestyle. It is usually best to begin slowly. And after reading all of these chronicles I am sure that some of you still haven't done it.

It never ceases to amaze me. Even when you know something is good for you it becomes something you avoid. It does not make a lot of sense to me. Why not give a little exercise a try? It only takes a minimal effort on your part and it can make a world of difference.