Fitness Advice for Arthritis Sufferers

By Victor E. Long, Esq.

Has your rhuematologist recommended exercise to relieve symptoms of arthritis?    Working with a good fitness trainer can ensure that your exercise meets your needs.  However the qualifications of fitness trainers vary widely. First ask your rhuematologist  or physical therapist to refer you to a qualified trainer. You can also check with your local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, which may have a list of trainers experienced in working with people who have arthritis.

Once youve selected several trainers and determined their certification, youll need to interview them, asking the following:

  • Have you worked with someone who has my kind of arthritis? The answer should, of course, be yes. Ask for and contact one or two references from the trainers.
  •  Are you willing to coordinate my program with my rheumatologist or physical therapist? You want someone who has worked with physicians and physical therapists and knows how to communicate with them about your arthritis.
  • How will you decide what program to put me on? The trainers answer should be that his or her plan will depend on your goals, your fitness level, and the input of your doctor or physical therapist about your limitations and medications.
  • What would you do if someone has this kind of limitation (name one of yours)? If someone has a flare-up? If he or she has no suggestions or doesnt know what a flare-up is, that should be a red flag.

Other resources on this topic are provided by the Arthritis Foundation.

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