Exercising After Arthritis

Arthritis, Featured Article, Healthy Aging, Healthy Living
on March 29, 2012
Exercising with arthritis.
Thinkstock Swimming is an arthritis-friendly low-impact exercise

A diagnosis of arthritis means different things to different people. When Allison Garcia of Santa Cruz, Calif., heard the news, she feared she’d have to give up an identity she’d become proud of.  “I was a late-bloomer athlete, but since age 40, I’ve come to enjoy soccer, mountain biking, trail running and triathlons,” she says.

At age 50, arthritic pain in her knees sent her to the doctor, who advised against high-impact activities. “I said, ‘Well, that’s not going to happen, so give me a cortisone shot!’” Allison remembers.

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Fortunately, Allison didn’t have to make the choice between the active lifestyle she loved and her aching knees, or rely on a series of shots. A friend introduced her to a fantastic new gym where a wide world of lower-impact exercise possibilities opened up for her—from working with a trainer to group fitness classes to indoor and outdoor cycling.

“I never thought I could give up soccer and running, which I love and had defined me for 10 years, and I certainly never thought I’d become a gym rat,” she says. “But I’ve transitioned to fun activities that are gentle on my knees, and I feel so much better!"