Many people are under the belief that you can’t exercise with arthritis. While this idea was popular for a very long-time, it has long since been outdated and proven wrong by all branches of modern science.
In fact, exercising is one of the most important things to do when you have arthritis, regardless of your age or current medical status. However, the most crucial part about exercising when you have arthritis is not overexerting yourself. There are actually many safe activities you can do that you should consider adding to your daily routine.
Why Should You Exercise When You Have Arthritis?
Even if you don’t have arthritis, exercise has a variety of proven physical and mental health benefits. For those who have arthritis, exercise has been known to improve your joint and bone strength – allowing you to carry heavier things with less pain and risk of injury, give you more energy, improve your sleep, control your weight, and improve your mood. Exercising for seniors with arthritis will also improve their quality of life and help them deal with other medical conditions.
Physical activities, done gradually, help us better schedule our lives and stick to healthier routines. Asides from genetic causes, lack of use of a joint is one of the biggest causes of arthritis. Ironically, daily continuous exercising will build up your ability to use your joints and will help eliminate the pain felt from arthritis.
After taking an extended break from exercising, our bodies can only handle so much stress. Within a couple of months, our exercise routines develop further beyond what we could manage when we started exercising.
Improving your body health should also be done in conjunction with improving your diet. Many of the foods that will enhance joint and muscle health are the same. Fruits, whole grains, lean meats, cruciferous and root vegetables, and beans should be go-to options for mealtime.
Try to cut out inflammatory foods, such as fried foods, processed foods, saturated fats, and refined carbs, from your diet. Avoid fast food consumption because it is high in sugars and is heavily processed. Balance is one of the most important attributes you can consider when choosing an exercise if you have arthritis.
All exercises you do should be time-bounded. Strenuous exercise, which occurs when you have difficulty speaking while doing your activity, should be done in half the time it takes to do more simple exercises.
As you build up strength in your body, you will be able to determine what you can handle by your body’s immediate reaction to starting an activity. Remember that you can stop yourself if you are afraid of being injured. Having someone to spot you or watch over you to maintain that you are exercising correctly is also essential for doing a strenuous activity.
3 Types of Exercises for Seniors with Arthritis
These exercises help improve your moveability and work by stretching out your joints to their complete range of motion.
Arthritis tends to stiffen your joints, and this kind of exercise is meant to make your joints looser. Simple stretching, taichi, yoga, and balance exercises are common range-of-motion exercises you can do from home.
Try to do morning stretches when you wake up. Stretching your shoulders and wrists or other limbs in a circular motion to your most total ability is the easiest way to start.
Range-of-motion exercises can be done from anywhere and take up the least amount of time. You can even be sitting while doing most range-of-motion exercises.
While you’d probably assume that strength training isn’t the healthiest of exercises for seniors with arthritis, you’re actually mistaken.
Strengthening exercises are essential in helping you build muscles that support your stressed-out joints. Given that muscle deterioration is a cause of arthritis, it makes sense that building up your surrounding muscles will alleviate joint pain.
Weight lifting is the most common form of strengthening exercise. This can be done at home with weights or at a gym or facility. Strength training with arthritis is the same thing as strength training for someone without arthritis, except that you shouldn’t try to lift as much weight.
You should never repeat strength exercises for a specific body part on the following day. If you work on upper arm strength on Tuesday, you shouldn’t work on upper arm strength on Wednesday.
Aerobic activities are probably the most difficult to do from home but give off the most important benefits.
Popular aerobic exercises include walking, swimming, biking, and using an elliptical machine.
Swimming is an excellent option because you have less resistance in the water. Walking is another excellent option because you can set your own pace and do it around your neighborhood.
Aerobic exercise also helps cardiovascular health, allowing you to maintain a healthy heart.
The best thing to do is do all three types of exercises in conjunction throughout the week. Do strength training for two non-continuous days and break it up with two days of aerobic exercise in-between, then a break day, and then another day of aerobic exercise.
One of the best ways to stick to an exercise routine for older adults is by being guided by a senior helper or a caregiver. Our in-home care professionals are well-trained to help seniors who have arthritis.
We offer assistance with a variety of activities, including but not limited to recreational activities, mobility assistance, reaching for items in low or high areas, and assisting with other strenuous activities.
If you are looking for arthritis care in Lafayette, LA, contact us today! You can reach out to us online or over the phone for a free Care Consultation or to inquire about our in-home care services.