Not All Hope is Lost!
Arthritis is a debilitating illness that affects many older adults. Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage between your joints wears away. Similarly, if you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis it can cause painful swelling in your joints and soft tissues.
Arthritis affects millions of adults in the United States and can make it difficult for them to move and even stay active. It’s estimated that around 27% of adults aged between 65 and older have arthritis, while nearly half of those aged around 70 and older have some form of arthritis. Some seniors suffering from arthritis may be able to move and work out, as long as they are careful. Fortunately, there are several exercises for seniors with arthritis who can perform them to combat pain and remain active.
And in today’s blog, I will be discussing these 3 gentle exercise routines for seniors with arthritis. But before discussing this further, I should quickly talk about clothing. If you don’t have the appropriate clothing, this can make your workouts much less pleasurable. Because of this, I would highly recommend wearing a lightweight and stretchable gym outfit that makes you feel comfortable.
Arthritis Workouts for Seniors: What Are They?
Arthritis exercises for seniors should be done slowly and carefully because they may cause pain in your joints if they’re done improperly or too quickly. They also can help improve the mobility of your joints and also build muscle strength around them so they support better alignment during movement.
Gentle Exercise Workouts For Seniors With Arthritis
1. Yoga For Seniors
Many seniors want to get fit and strong so they can live an independent lifestyle and enjoy the comforts of their homes. The best way to achieve this elegant goal is by performing yoga for seniors with arthritis. This practice comes with a whole range of benefits, which help you deal with life-impacting illnesses. There are various advantages of yoga for seniors, some of which are described below.
● Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana):
This pose is beneficial for stretching your hamstrings, calves, and thighs while loosening the back muscles.
● Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana):
This pose strengthens your back muscles by stretching them at the same time. It can also help prevent back problems as well.
● Downward Facing Dog
(Adho Mukha Svanasana): This pose improves the blood flow to the brain, improving mental clarity while strengthening the arms and shoulders as well.
2. Exercises for Seniors With Wrist Arthritis
If you’re a senior suffering from wrist arthritis, there are several ways to reduce pain and strengthen the joint.
Fortunately, wrist exercises can help to improve the range of motion in your wrist and hands, as well as strengthen the muscles for stronger grip strength.
Clawing is a common exercise for individuals with arthritis in their hands. It involves bending your fingers (flexion) and then straightening them (extension). This helps to strengthen the muscles that support your wrist and helps to reduce inflammation that occurs due to arthritis.
To perform this workout correctly, put one hand on top of the other with palms facing downward. Then bend one of your fingers at a time until they’re all bent over. Gradually flatten your fingers again slowly until they’re all straight again. Repeat the exercise 10 times for each hand (20 total repetitions).
Arthritis in Other Areas
The following guidelines offer suggestions for performing exercises for seniors with arthritis in several areas of the body.
● Joint Arthritis (osteoarthritis)
Exercises such as walking on sand or water may be helpful because they put less stress on affected joints. Swimming is also good because it helps improve your balance and coordination, and ease the pressure on your joints. Stair climbing is another option to increase strength and stamina. but make sure to do it safely.
● Spine Arthritis (spondyloarthritis)
Spondyloarthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints of the spine. To begin any workout program for this type of arthritis, you need to ask your doctor for specific advice on which exercises are safe for you to do.
● Ankle Arthritis
Here are some workouts for seniors with arthritis in ankles or feet:
Walking is a low-impact exercise. It helps to build leg strength and improves balance, which can help prevent falls. Walking also improves circulation and the functioning of the lungs. Similarly, if you’re not used to exercising regularly, start slowly with just one minute of walking and then gradually increase the amount of time spent walking every day until you reach 30 minutes each day.
Gardening is another easy form of physical activity that can burn tons of calories. The repetitive motions involved in gardening can assist in strengthening both arms and legs while reducing stiffness in your arthritic joints.
The goal of these exercises is simply to help you improve your range of motion, build strength and improve your balance.
- Helps Reduce Pain
- Improves Range of Motion
- Increases Muscle Strength
- Reduces Fatigue
- Improves Balance
Chair Exercises for Seniors
The following are some examples of simple workouts that can be done while sitting in a chair:
1. Arm Circles
Rotate the arms in a circular motion, starting at the shoulders and moving down towards your elbows and then back up again. Do this 12 times in each direction.
2. Shoulder Shrugs
Raise your shoulders toward your ears, hold for a few seconds and then start lowering them slowly back down again. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
3. Trunk Rotation
Sit up straight with your feet placed on the ground, knees bent at about 90 degrees, and hands clasped behind the back so that your fingers meet palms at your back. Hold for 5 seconds, then rotate to one side as far as you can without moving hips or ankles and hold for 5 seconds before returning to the center position and repeating on your other side. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Before starting a new workout regimen, you must consult your doctor about it first. He might suggest some workouts that require less stress on the joints or suggest an alternative exercise if there is any sort of risk involved in performing that particular exercise.
While performing each workout mentioned above, make sure you use a proper form. Also, avoid overdoing it as this might lead to further injuries or aggravate your condition if you have any underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease or arthritis.
This article was written as part of a guest series by Mike and his team at elitesports.com.
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