Physical activity can boost your child’s ability to move and enjoy life.
We all know exercise is good for us, but the benefits of physical activity for children with juvenile arthritis and related conditions can even be greater – as can the downsides of not being physically active. That’s why it’s especially crucial for kids with arthritis to keep moving.
By and large, studies show that kidswith arthritis are less fit than their healthy counterparts. Specifically, they have less muscle strength and muscle endurance. They also have less aerobic capacity (needed for prolonged exercise) and anaerobic capacity (needed to perform intense bursts of activity); therefore, they tire faster during physical activity than kids who don’t have arthritis even when their disease is inactive.
On the flip side, studies also demonstrate that these conditions can be improved with exercise training. Aerobic and anaerobic capacity can be boosted, and resistance training can increase muscle strength and endurance.
Yes, They Can
Perhaps the most important thing to know about exercise for children with arthritis is that when done properly it does no harm. They can and should exercise.
Many studies show that land- and water-based exercise is safe, and that joint pain and swelling don’t get worse after exercise programs.