High Intensity Exercise Beneficial For Arthritis

Arthritis comes on gradually and the symptoms are pain and stiffness in the fingers and toes.

A hard work-out session can be beneficial to people with arthritis, researchers have found.

Previous studies have shown that moderate intensity training can increase endurance without causing any pain or damaging the joints.

However, the new study suggests that high-intensity interval trainings is even more effective than moderate intensity exercise.

Arthritis patients in this study trained hard on a spinning bike twice a week for 10 weeks.

Dr Anja Bye one of the researchers in this study explained the outcomes.

“…we saw a tendency for there to be less inflammation, at least as measured by the inflammation marker CRP, and the participants of the study experienced a solid increase maximum oxygen intake, meaning that they reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease.”

The other outcome of this training period was an increase in muscle mass and reduction in waist, BMI, and body fat percent.

The exercise involved ten minutes warming up then repetitions of four minutes high-intensity interval training at 85-95% HRmax (maximum heart rate) on spinning bikes.


The subjects had a three minute break between each interval and the work-out session lasted 35 minutes in total.

Dr Bye pointed out that a number of participants are continuing training.

“The women who participated in the study found this to be a good, effective method of training, and are mostly very motivated to continue because of the progress they’ve seen.”

Arthritis comes on gradually and the symptoms are pain and stiffness in the fingers and toes.

Loss of movement and weakness are the result of joint distortion.

Arthritis patients suffer from poor endurance and they are at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

In general women suffer from arthritis three times more than men.

This study was published in European Journal of Applied Physiology (Sandstad et al., 2015).

Painful wrist image from Shutterstock