8 Arthritis Exercise Tips
About 23 percent of all adults, more than 54 million people, suffer from arthritis, says the CDC. More than one in four adults with arthritis report severe joint pain, so much so that it precludes them from performing essential daily tasks efficiently. This is especially problematic for home bound seniors, where even the simplest tasks such as pulling a few weeds or changing a lightbulb can be painful if not impossible.
Arthritis can prevent seniors from handling basic yet important tasks around the house and in the yard. Even though seniors recognize the need for exercise, many times, their severe pain prevents them from moving any more than they have to.
Arthritis is a catch 22, as the pain from this chronic condition can prevent seniors from exercising, but it’s actually one of the most beneficial ways to relieve arthritis pain, points out Aging Care.
Here are some tips to make exercise regimens more arthritis-friendly for seniors:
- Prioritize pain management: Make sure your pain is under control before starting a workout. This should begin with a trip to your doctor to get a diagnosis on the type of arthritis you have and get prescriptions for anti-inflammatory medications. Once your pain and inflammation have been controlled, you can begin a doctor-approved exercise routine that outlines which exercises are helpful for arthritis sufferers and which ones are actually harmful.
- Start slow: Warming up before getting into the crux of the workout is key, especially when your joints are sore and stiff due to your arthritis. Perform some gentle range-of-motion exercises first, such as arm circles, toe touches and hip lifts.
- Reduce your impact: Low-impact workouts are the way to go when you have arthritis. Swimming, water aerobics, elliptical machines and stationary cycling are all good forms of low-impact cardiovascular training. You may also want to try Tai Chi to increase balance, flexibility and mobility.
- Mix it up: Vary your workouts each day so you can stay interested and engaged, and work different muscle groups. You’ll want to incorporate a nice blend of cardiovascular activity and light weight lifting to build strength and flexibility.
- Change workouts if you experience pain: If you feel pain with any workout, stop doing it and find another routine. It’s OK to exercise till you feel tired, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to push through pain. Pain is the body’s way of saying something is wrong.
- Work on weaknesses: It’s a good idea to work on increasing strength in your weaker areas. The best types of exercises you can do are those that strengthen muscles that support your arthritic joints.
- Recover well: Always stretch before and after a workout to help your muscles recover more quickly. If you are sore in a particular area, ice that part of your body afterward.
- Eat right: While there is no magic diet that takes away all your aches and pains, eating healthy overall can benefit seniors with arthritis. Tailor your diet to fit your exercise regimen. For example, if you are putting in a good amount of strength-building exercises, make sure you are getting enough healthy proteins in your diet, such as egg whites, almonds, salmon and chicken. This will fuel muscle growth. If you’ve been doing a lot of cardio, stock your diet with high-quality carbohydrates, such as fruit, whole grain pastas and breads, and brown rice.
If you or your loved one are still having trouble with tasks around the house or yard, consider handyman services as part of your senior care services.
Contact Preferred HealthStaff
To learn more about how our senior home care services can pair your senior loved one with the handyman services he or she needs, please contact us toll free at 866-943-9791 or in Fairfield 717-642-8500.