Yogis with arthritis had better physical health, less joint pain and less depression
Exercise works all kinds of wonders on the human body, from stabilizing joints to improving muscle mass to reducing inflammation. That’s pretty motivating when your body feels good—but less so when it aches. 44% of people with arthritis say they don’t exercise, and close to 80% aren’t active enough.
But a recent randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Rheumatology finds that people with arthritis who practice yoga can reap impressive physical and mental benefits. Those who practiced yoga three times a week had an improvement in pain levels, energy, mood and physical health compared to the group that didn’t do yoga—and the effects lasted even nine months later.
“There’s kind of a myth that says if you have arthritis, the good thing to do is to rest your joints,” says one of the study’s authors Dr. Clifton O. Bingham III, associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. “I think the study is more evidence that, in fact, that’s not true.”
In the trial, the researchers recruited 75 adults who didn’t exercise and had rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that affects the body’s smaller joints like the wrists, feet and ankles, or knee osteoarthritis, which is localized to the knee. One group practiced a specialized kind of yoga for eight weeks: group classes modified by arthritis experts to take the stress off of joints. Each hour-long class took place twice a week, and the people in the group were told to do a weekly class at home. The other group exercised as usual. Continue reading >>