Arthritis is a common problem for many seniors. Pain is the most significant symptom of arthritis. In the past, many believed exercise was taboo for people with arthritis. However, research shows us this is not true. Exercise, the low-impact kind, is extremely beneficial for seniors with arthritis. Here are some popular low-impact exercises that can be incorporated into your daily routine.
- Aquatic Exercises – Any form of aquatic exercise is beneficial to health. This is why many active adult communities have indoor and outdoor pools. Water is buoyant and takes away the weight from your joints and muscles. The most suitable temperature for any aquatic exercise is between 28.3 to 31.1 degrees Celsius. This will increase your body temperature and, in turn, increase circulation. You can swim laps, walk-in water or take part in a water aerobics class.
- Walking – This is the best and most accessible method of exercise for seniors with arthritis. Walking increases bone density and strengthens the heart and lungs. Walk according to your ability and walk with a friend. Begin by walking at a pace that makes you a bit short of breath. Not too much. After a few weeks, try increasing your pace and distance. Many senior living communities feature walking trails just for this purpose. A reminder: wear proper walking shoes.
- Tai Chi – This form of exercise includes moving very slowly in graceful movements. Tai Chi is believed to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and develop balance. This is ideal for people with arthritis as it is low impact and reduces the risk of injury.
- Yoga – This low-impact exercise eases stiff muscles and joints. However, yoga has to be done with an instructor. Many 55+ communities have yoga classes. If you suffer from arthritis, speak to your instructor and he/she will instruct you on suitable exercises so that you do not inflame your arthritis.
- Cycling – This exercise strengthens your heart muscle, hips, and knees. Start slowly and extend your time and pace as you improve. Cycling is an excellent exercise as this can be done both outdoors and indoors.
- Golf – This is a favorite of all active adults. Golf enhances the strength and mobility of your upper body, spine, hips, and lower body. It also improves balance and motion. Note: Use light-weight equipment.
Try these out and feel the difference. However, get the approval of your physician before considering any exercise program.