slowly stretching a joint until it feels a little uncomfortable. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat it three to five times.
4. Start slow.
Start with a weight that allows you to do three sets of eight to 10 repetitions with moderate effort. (Some people start with no weight at all.) When these repetitions became easy, move up to a slightly larger weight.
5. Lift weights slowly and evenly.
Sudden jerks or bounces can damage cartilage.
6. Expect a little discomfort.
Your joints may complain at first, but they’ll thank you in the long run.
7. Try to go through your joint’s entire range of motion.
If bending the joint in a certain way causes too much pain, stick with movements that are more comfortable. Over time, you should try to gradually push your joint until you regain its full range.
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8. Give your joints a rest.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, give your joints a rest during a flare-up. As soon as the pain subsides, you can go back to lifting.
9. Consider isometric exercises.
Workouts that involve pushing or pulling against walls or other immovable objects can strengthen muscles without putting any stress on joints. Isometric exercises can be a good alternative if regular weightlifting causes too much pain.
10. Listen to your body.
If you start pushing yourself too hard, your body will let you know loud and clear. According to the National Institutes of Health, arthritis patients should stop an exercise program if they notice unusual or long-lasting fatigue, increased weakness, decreased flexibility, increased swelling, or pain that lasts for more than an hour after exercising.
With any exercise program, the first step is always the hardest. If you have trouble getting motivated, keep this in mind: Your sore joints won’t get better on their own. A good exercise program that includes weightlifting can give you the strength and flexibility you need to keep up with life. The alternative is too painful to consider.