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Simple Arthritis Exercises

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Your Healthcare Provider is Your Partner

Before starting or changing an exercise program, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you are healthy enough to participate. Many factors, including but not limited to certain medications, previous injuries, and other health conditions can be affected by physical activity.

 

Importance of Exercise for Arthritis SmallWhy is exercise important for arthritis?Collapse Expand

A Little Exercise Can Make a Big Difference in Arthritis

If you do nothing to manage your arthritis, you may need medicines, including prescription medicines. Exercise may be able to*:

  • Reduce arthritis pain
  • Move your joints more easily
  • Prevent or slow further joint damage
  • Stay active
  • Limit the amount and types of pain reliever you may need
  • Improve your overall health and quality of life
  • Additional benefits of exercising:
  • Improved sleep
  • More energy
  • Better function in everyday tasks

People who exercise have a 43% reduced risk of osteoarthritis-related disability.

*Your results may vary.

Your Healthcare Provider is Your Partner. Before starting or changing an exercise program, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you are healthy enough to participate. Many factors, including but not limited to certain medications, previous injuries, and other health conditions can be affected by physical activity.

Expert-Recommended Exercises for Arthritis SmallWhat exercises do the experts recommend?Collapse Expand

Experts Recommend 3 Types of Exercise for Arthritis Benefits

  • Strengthening exercises that help build muscles to support and cushion your joints better
  • Stretching exercises that help improve joint flexibility and range of motion
  • Cardiovascular (cardio) activity, which promotes a healthy heart, stamina, and healthy weight
    - Types: Low-impact exercises—such as walking, elliptical machines, or water aerobics—are easier on knees and hips
    - Amounts:
    • 20-30 minutes daily (If you’re inactive, start with 5-10 minutes and increase over time)
    • 2½ hours weekly of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes weekly of vigorous exercise
    • Do as much as you can do. Even if you can’t fit in much cardio, the strengthening and stretching exercises can help your arthritis.

    Your Healthcare Provider is Your Partner. Before starting or changing an exercise program, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you are healthy enough to participate. Many factors, including but not limited to certain medications, previous injuries, and other health conditions can be affected by physical activity.

    Arthritis Exercise Warm Up Cool Down Tips SmallWhy is warming up and cooling down important?Collapse Expand

    Short and Simple: Warm-ups and Cool-downs

    Warming up before exercise and cooling down afterwards helps minimize injury.

    • Always warm up for 3-5 minutes before beginning exercise with light activity like walking around the block or marching in place.
    • Cool down for at least 5 minutes after strengthening or cardio exercises. You can do more light activity like walking or, if you’re using the Keep Moving® exercise program, the stretching exercises for flexibility also can serve as your cool-down.

    When you start an exercise session, you may initially have some mild discomfort as you start to move, but this often improves after a few minutes.

    Your Healthcare Provider is Your Partner. Before starting or changing an exercise program, talk with your healthcare provider about whether you are healthy enough to participate. Many factors, including but not limited to certain medications, previous injuries, and other health conditions can be affected by physical activity.

    Note: If you experience severe joint pain during your workout, stop immediately and talk with your healthcare provider.

    Our easy-to-follow, 20-minute knee or hip exercise routines can help reduce joint pain and improve joint flexibility

    • Six animated exercises
    • 20-minute workouts, just 3 times a week
    • At-home workouts, no special equipment
    • Works on smartphone, tablet, or laptop

    Arthritis Exercise Sessions

    Select Your Session Below

    For best results, experts recommend workouts like these that combine strength and stretching exercises. However, if you can’t do the full 20-minute program, select individual knee or hip exercises below. When you choose a strength exercise, follow it up with a stretch exercise for the same joint to reduce the chance of injury.

    Individual Exercises

    Select Your Exercise Below

    Backward Leg Lift Small

    Backward Leg Lifts

    Strengthening

    Knee

    Play

    Chair Squats Small

    Chair Squats

    Strengthening

    Knee & Hip

    Play

    Bridges Small

    Bridges

    Strengthening

    Knee & Hip

    Play

    Side Leg Raises Small

    Side Leg Raises

    Strengthening

    Hip

    Play

    Calf Stretches Small

    Calf Stretches

    Flexibility

    Knee

    Play

    Hamstring Stretches Small

    Hamstring Stretches

    Flexibility

    Knee & Hip

    Play

    Quad Stretches Small

    Quad Stretches

    Flexibility

    Knee & Hip

    Play

    Hip Stretches Small

    Hip Stretches

    Flexibility

    Hip

    Play

    Improvements in arthritis pain won’t happen overnight. Make a commitment to stick with your exercise routine.