Fitness That Fits You
Using a treadmill for walking or running provides an excellent workout that increases cardiovascular endurance, improves blood flow, strengthens muscles, reduces stress and helps you maintain a healthy weight -- all of which decrease your arthritis pain. Using a treadmill indoors has several benefits over walking or running outside: you can use it year-round, from snowy days to 100° days; you can listen to the radio or watch TV; you don’t have to deal with traffic; the cushioned tread can provide slightly lower impact than walking or running on outdoor surfaces; and the treadmill enables you to go easy, pick up the pace or climb simulated hills to vary your workout.
Specific modifications will depend on your joints affected, but you may consider the following.
- Wearing prescribed orthotics and braces on your weight-bearing joints can improve your body mechanics and alignment.
- Walking or running with a slight incline (2%) and decreasing your stride length will reduce impact on your joints.
- Minimalist shoes, toe shoes and barefoot running may not be tolerated due to such arthritic changes as ankle pronation, bunions and hammer toes.
- Proper posture and technique will reduce stress on your joints while you walk or run.
- Hold onto the side rails at first if needed.
- Gradually increase your time, speed and incline as you improve.
This is general treadmill information. Get personalized results, with specific modifications and tips customized to your problem joints and level of fitness.