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Women Who Exercise into Their Seventies May Delay Onset of Arthritis

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Women, Exercise, and Arthritis

Women Who Exercise into Their Seventies May Delay Onset of Arthritis

June 11, 2007
By: Erin Coakley for Knee1 Arthritis, the painful swelling of joints within the body, is the most prevalent chronic condition for middle-aged and older people in the United States, affecting over one-fifth of the population. Now, a new study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy offers a way to delay the onset of arthritis and ensure movement without stiffness and pain well into old age.
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A couple more tips:
  • Walk slowly to ease into exercise, and stretch for five to 10 minutes before each session.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing while you exercise. Also wear sturdy shoes with arch support and a cushioned heal to absorb shock.

  • Researchers in Australia examined the link between exercise and the development of arthritis. They looked at data on middle-aged (48 to 55 years) and older (72 to 79) women that were collected from self-report surveys over three years. Not including women who reported symptoms of arthritis at the beginning of the study, the researchers focused on those women who began reporting stiff and painful joints and the amount of exercise they did. Study results revealed that women in their seventies who remained active could prevent painful arthritis symptoms. The older women in the study who did an hour of moderate exercise each week lessened their chance of developing frequent and painful symptoms over the next three years. By exercising for two and a half hours a week, they decreased the likelihood of experiencing symptoms even more significantly. This study is the first to show that the more you exercise, the less likely you are to experience the stiff and painful joints associated with arthritis. Exercise Tips for Older Women:
  • Start with walking, and slowly increase the intensity of your exercise program. Work up to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming, or bicycling, three times per week and strength training two times per week.
  • Even low-level activity is beneficial. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park farther away from the entrance to the mall, supermarket, or your office. Walk 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night. Source: Arthritis Research and Therapy
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