Many people with arthritis avoid exercising in fear of causing more harm to their joints. However, research shows that exercise, done properly, is beneficial in managing arthritis. Exercise in itself reduces joint pain and stiffness, and helps build strong muscles around your joints. Depending on your level of mobility, you may benefit from stretching or strengthening exercises in a chair or pool – or – from activities in which your muscles exert force against resistance (using weights or resistance bands). Always consult with your doctor before beginning a new fitness program.