Can High-Intensity Training Help Ease Arthritis Pain?

Arthritis Is A General Term

Arthritis is a chronic illness that causes inflammation in joints which causes weakness and loss of movement.  Arthritis sufferers often have reduced endurance and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

About 1 out of every 5 US adults has doctor-diagnosed arthritis. The term arthritis includes more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Other forms of arthritis that occur often are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout.  It affects about three times as many women as it does men.  It mainly affects adults but can occur in children as well.

It’s Important To Be Active With Arthritis

Some people with arthritis believe that being active will cause pain, make their symptoms worse, or damage their joints. Others don’t know how to exercise safely.  Nearly 44% of adults with arthritis report no leisure-time physical activity (compared with about 36% of adults without arthritis – Yikes!).

Previously there had been little documentation of how exercise affected arthritic joints, but a recent study shed some light on this.  We know now that not being physically active is actually contra-indicated for arthritis.

A New Study Shows Promise For Arthritis Sufferers

Although the Norwegian study included only 18 women between the ages of 20 to 49, it involved participants undergoing 10 weeks of hard training on a spinning bike (not my favorite Activity, but it did help produce some useful data). The participants warmed up and then did four repetitions of high intensity — 85-95% of max pulse — four-minute intervals.  The total workout session lasted about 35 minutes.

As a result of this training period, the participants saw a small reduction in body mass index (BMI), body fat and waist measurement, as well as an  increase in muscle mass.

“Previously, studies have shown that moderate intensity workout sessions can help improve endurance without inducing pain or inflammation or damaging joints,” says Anja Bye, researcher at the K.G. Jebsen Centre for Exercise in Medicine – Cardiac Exercise Research Group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

“Numerous studies show that high-intensity interval training is much more effective for improving endurance than moderate intensity training.  This is true regardless if you’re sick or healthy, young or old.  We wanted to see if patients with arthritis could handle high intensity training and see the same positive effects.  Rather, we saw a tendency for there to be less inflammation, at least as measured by the inflammation marker CRP… The women who participated in the study found this to be a good, effective method of training, and are mostly very motivated to continue because of the progress they’ve seen.”

The benefits of strength training on arthritis may be further enhanced with diet and supplement improvements.  One particular nutrient, curcumin (derived from the spice turmeric) combined with proper strength training has been shown to improve discomfort from inflamed joints even better than with exercise alone.

If you have arthritis, you are doing the right thing by working out with us at DST.  If you know someone suffering with this debilitating disease and is afraid to exercise, please introduce us or at least pass this newsletter along and see if they are open to trying some ZeroForce Exercise.  It’s safer than a stationary bike!