I'm just now getting back into exercise after being literally crippled with stage 4 osteoarthritis. After ignoring my doc, stopping all arthritis meds, and using a holistic/natural approach, I feel better now than I did on Celebrex and Mobic.
I had been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for over 30 years, and have recently gone vegan. I'm going high-raw as well, but in the winter, I feel better with some cooked foods (soup, baked potato, or a mug of heated V-8 with garlic).
Obviously, I'm going to be somewhat limited in what I can do--for example, leg extensions can only be done with about 2 lbs. max. I hope to improve, but realize that I may never get back to where I was in college.
I also have issues with being on my feet for extended amounts of time, and even relatively low-impact cardio (treadmill) is out. Years of limping have shortened the muscles and tendons in the backs of my legs, and I tend to have a lot of strain/tightness from my achilles tendon upward.
A combination of vegan diet, weights, elliptical/recumbent bike, supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM) and 16-32 oz. kombucha daily has really made a huge difference so far. As my knees feel better, I can exercise more; as I exercise more, I lose weight and take even more pressure off my knees. It's a win-win situation!
What I hope to accomplish short-term is to lose enough weight and strengthen my legs enough to be OKed for knee replacement surgery--but what I really hope will happen, is that I won't need it! My first doc told me I was too young and wouldn't even consider me for surgery (although I had a terrible limp and was damaging other parts of my body in the process). My current doc will do the surgery, but wants me to lose weight so the new knee will last longer. I would LOVE to trot (yes, trot!) into his office one day and tell him that I no longer need his services!