Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the U.S., affecting one in five adults, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The good news is, the risk of arthritis-related disability can be reduced by as much as 47 percent with moderate physical activity such as cycling at least three times per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How Does Cycling Help Prevent Arthritis-Related Disability?
Cycling is a safe way for those with arthritis to help prevent the development of arthritis-related disabilities that impact quality of life. This low-impact exercise supports bone and joint health, strengthens muscles and contributes to a healthy body weight.
Cycling is a non-weight bearing activity that builds muscle and improves balance and coordination.
“Exercise plays a crucial role in arthritis management,” said William Salyer, MD, a board-certified surgeon at AOA. “Cycling is an optimal choice for those with arthritis because it provides movement in the joint and increases muscle strength without significantly impacting areas commonly affected by arthritis, like the knees and hips.”
Whether outdoors or on a stationary bike, cycling puts very little stress on bones and joints while providing an excellent cardiovascular workout and engaging muscles in the lower body, core and upper body.
How Does Cycling Help with Weight Management?
Finding a comfortable way to exercise with arthritis and maintain a healthy body weight is essential to orthopedic health and mobility, said Salyer, who specializes in arthritis treatment.
Cycling is a healthy way to expend excess calories and build muscle. Combined with a balanced diet, cycling can help control and reduce weight as part of a regular fitness routine.
How Much Should I Bicycle to Help Prevent Arthritis-Related Disability?
Biking at a moderate pace of 10 mph or less for 30 minutes uses an average of 145 calories, while biking at a pace faster than 10 mph for the same amount of time uses an average of 295 calories, according to the CDC.
For optimum results, bicycle at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time. Choose a speed that is best for you, and increase speed and distance as you can.
Seek a doctor’s approval before starting this or any exercise program.
For more information about arthritis care, contact William Salyer, MD, and the board-certified orthopedic surgeons at OrthoArizona – Arizona Orthopaedic Associates at (602) 631-3161 or online at www.aoa.md.