Do Yoga Regularly – Even Daily

Yoga is gentle enough for most people to do every day, says Dr. Kolasinski. Yoga classes or private instruction can be expensive, but you can practice a yoga routine on your own at home, using a DVD or printed yoga instructions.

Finding the right instructor is key, says Howard. A good instructor not only understands that you have arthritis and shows you how to modify the moves, but should help create an overall program that fits with your goals, If you are less interested in the mind-body connection or meditation aspects of yoga than the physical poses and flexibility benefits, find an instructor or class that focuses on what you need. “That’s why it can be difficult for people to the find the right yoga practice for them,” says Howard.

Dr. Kolasinski says more of her patients are asking if yoga is appropriate for them. She believes it’s a good choice of physical activity for people with arthritis. Yoga can not only reduce pain, improve function and alleviate stress, it can promote better sleep if you do it regularly. While yoga is gentle enough to do daily for most people, be careful not to overdo it, and be mindful if you experience any pain or discomfort. “Don’t overtax a joint that’s flaring,” she says

Most Americans do not get enough physical activity, a factor that contributes to higher rates of obesity and health problems like arthritis. “Getting people moving is key,” Dr. Kolasinksi says.

Yoga may be the answer for many people with arthritis who struggle with more taxing forms of exercise, or just find them boring. Once considered an obscure, even esoteric practice, yoga is gaining in popularity among a wide variety of people with various health conditions. “I think yoga is in a renaissance, Dr. Kolasinksi says. “It’s becoming more of a mainstream option.”