Don’t allow arthritis to keep you from exercising

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Exercise is considered the most effective pill-free treatment to cope with the pain and stiffness of arthritis. And more people are getting advice from their health care providers about how to stay active, according to a study published online Jan. 5, 2018, by the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Researchers looked at national health surveys gathered from 2002 to 2014. In that period, there was an increase in the proportion of people with arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia) who said their clinician suggested physical activity to help reduce symptoms — from 52% in 2002 to about 60% in 2014. But by 2014, about 40% of arthritis sufferers still said they weren't getting exercise counseling. That's significant, considering that 91 million people ages 18 or older are affected by arthritis, according to a study published online Nov. 27, 2017, by Arthritis & Rheumatology. You don't have to wait for a doctor to suggest exercise as an arthritis treatment. Try something gentle, like walking, tai chi, or modified yoga. For more ideas, check out the Harvard Special Health Report The Joint Pain Relief Workout (www.health.harvard.edu/jprw).