Before beginning an exercise program, people with arthritis should first discuss exercise options with their doctors and other health care providers. Most doctors recommend exercise for their patients, and many people begin with easy, range-of-motion exercises and low-impact aerobics. People with arthritis can participate in a variety of, but not all, sports and exercise programs. The doctor will know which, if any, sports are off-limits.
The doctor may have suggestions about how to get started, or may make a referral to a physical therapist. It is best to find a physical therapist that has experience working with people who have arthritis. These experts can design an appropriate home exercise program and teach clients about pain-relief methods, proper body mechanics (placement of the body for a given task, such as lifting a heavy box), joint protection, and conserving energy.
(Source: National Institutes of Health)