How often should a patient with arthritis exercise?
Patients with arthritis should perform stretching 3 to 5 days/week and ROM exercises daily to prevent joint contractures. Adults in the general population should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Adults should also perform strengthening exercises two to three times per week. Patients with arthritis whose disease is controlled can be encouraged to follow these general recommendations. For those with active joint inflammation or more severe functional limitations, the American College of Sports Medicine has issued a separate set of guidelines. These recommendations state that adults with a chronic condition and/or functional limitation should perform at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on 3 days each week. Starting off slowly with low-intensity exercise, perhaps involving isometric exercises and aquatic therapy, can help to improve adherence to routine exercise.