Barre benefits for arthritis

Experts expect that up to 26 percent of adults in the United States could have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by 2040. Exercise may seem impossible when someone has a joint disease, but low-impact workouts can help to slow the progression of arthritis and keep sufferers more comfortable and mobile. Barre workouts offer many potential benefits for arthritis patients.

Keep Weight Stable

Arthritis risk increases when people become overweight. Exercise can help anyone ensure they stay a healthy weight. Management of weight may reduce the risk of arthritis or increase the comfort for people with the disease. According to the Arthritis Foundation, for every 10 pounds lost, this will remove 40 pounds of pressure from the knees.

Barre workouts encourage people to move and burn calories. Less weight and pressure can lead to less pain and potentially make it easier for people to move even more. Losing weight can also help improve overall wellness, so people may discover their risk of other medical concerns like heart disease or diabetes decline over time too.

Protect the Joints

Arthritis patients need to focus on low-impact exercises to avoid causing injury to their affected joints. Barre exercise classes use ballet-inspired movements. The programs focus on alignment and balance rather than fast-paced exercises that could become too aggressive for arthritis sufferers.

Low-impact workouts like Barre offer safety against impact injuries during the workout but can also make participants safer when they are not working out. Barre encourages movements that tone and strengthens the muscles. Stronger muscles help to support and protect the joints.

Ballet movements encourage proper posture. Good posture also protects against arthritis pain by taking the stress off the joints of the neck, back, shoulders, and hips from slouching. Mirrors help participants in the program to see their posture and correct it as they work out. In time, the practice of using good posture could carry over into daily life.

Find Appropriate Classes

Barre classes offer programs for beginners, intermediates, and experts. Participants select a class that matches their fitness level to begin. Instructors will assist people that cannot perform specific movements because of joint pain or stiffness. The instructor can help the individual find alternative poses that keep them moving but free of pain.

Keep Yourself Moving

Movement encourages better blood circulation, so the entire body receives oxygen and nourishment. Moving more causes synovial fluid to flow so it can better lubricate joint cartilage. The fluid allows the cartilage to stay pliable so it can reduce friction and shock to the joint. Synovial fluid also removes waste products, like carbon dioxide, from the cartilage.

Without movement, synovial fluid cannot flow properly and lubricate the cartilage. Eventually, the lack of lubrication causes dry and stiff cartilage that makes the joint stiff and painful during movement. Arthritis sufferers should not overwork their joints, but they need exercise to ensure they stay flexible and comfortable enough to keep moving.

Have Some Fun

Exercise classes allow people to socialize and feel good about themselves. Barre classes combine movements from yoga, ballet, Pilates, and more for a unique workout. Arthritis sufferers who become bored with their yoga classes or other workouts may find the variations offered through Barre more interesting and enjoyable. 

Exercise should only take place when you are healthy enough to take part. Visit your doctor to discuss the workout, and make sure it is the right one for you. When ready, come to the Great Miami Valley YMCA. We offer a range of classes led by instructors trained by the Freedom Barre founder. Contact us to sign up for a class or to learn more about what we offer.