Arthritis is a pain. Whether you suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, you understand the joint ache that comes with the territory. In the most simple words, arthritis is inflammation in the joints. This inflammation is filling space that doesn’t need to be filled and coincidently causing pain and discomfort.

Fortunately, exercise can provide relief for arthritis. You have to make sure you’re doing the right type of exercise, though! If you have aching knees and go for long runs, you may be doing more harm than good. You’ve undoubtedly felt the discomfort after these runs, and that’s your body trying to tell you something. Running is a tremendous cardiovascular exercise, but if you have arthritis, you need to limit the impact you put on your joints. Impact in this case refers to pounding. Exercise can provide relief for your arthritis, but stay away from pounding movements. Focus on cardio machines like a bicycle or elliptical. Stay away from stair steppers. Water aerobics are excellent for exercisers with arthritis. Multiple studies have shown the benefits water aerobics can provide for arthritis sufferers. Your sore joints are almost floating in the water, as it provides good, safe resistance.

Exercise can also provide relief for arthritis if it is done daily. The more time your joints spend in a suspended state, the more tight and achy they will become. Motion is lotion. Your muscles and joints need to be taken through their full range of motion each day. This will help lubricate your joints and keep the synovial fluid built up and the inflammation down. A little bit each day is better than working out hard one or two times a week. When you exercise keep the weight light and the repetitions high. Seated exercise can be very beneficial, because there is zero impact on the joints.

Working on your balance in combination with exercise can also work wonders for arthritis. Your muscles and joints act as stabilizers as you are forced to balance, so they get worked. Try standing on one leg as you do standing thera-band resistance work. Body squats are good exercises as well for strength and stability.

Whatever type of exercise you choose from the above suggestions, the key is sticking with a program. You don’t have to work yourself to death every day, but exercise truly can provide relief for your arthritis, so give it a shot.