Exercise can be an extremely helpful tool to combat arthritis. Not only can it help reduce pain, exercise can also increase range of motion, boost joint flexibility, and even improve your mood. Here are five great exercises that can help you or a loved one.
Walking is a highly effective, low-impact exercise that can improve heart health as well as joint function. If you choose to integrate this exercise into your lifestyle, it is essential to have proper footwear and to stay hydrated. Start at a slower pace and work your way up to a faster speed if desired. If a 30-minute walk is too strenuous, try three 10-minute walks throughout the day.
Water activity is an excellent way to ease joint pain because water helps support body weight. Specific activities that can help reduce joint stiffness include water aerobics, swimming, and other moderate movements that can increase strength and flexibility. If you would like to relieve additional pressure on your joints, consider using a water jogging belt. This will suspend you above the pool floor so you are not putting any additional pressure on your ankles, knees, or hips.
Arthritis can make hand movements very painful and difficult. Thankfully, doing simple exercises to increase range of motion in the hands and wrists can be highly beneficial and it’s easy to do anywhere! Practice squeezing a stress ball, bending wrists up and down, or slowly curling and uncurling fingers.
Cycling is perfect for people with ankle or foot pain, as it provides a great cardiovascular workout while avoiding the high-impact intensity that can worsen joint pain. It also builds endurance and will increase your range of motion. Riding a stationary bike can provide a safer option right inside your house, but remember to listen to your body and don’t overexert yourself. Begin cycling 10 minutes a day and work up to 30-40 minutes if you can.
This is a low-impact exercise for anyone with arthritic pain. Try sitting in a chair and making small circles with your legs and ankles, or standing and doing small arm circles. These basic stretches are easy to do anywhere and can greatly improve your range of motion. Remember to hold each stretch for 10-20 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. There are many different ways you can incorporate stretching movements into your exercise routine—whether it’s yoga, tai chi, or simply stretching in your room—all of these methods will provide great relief and increased flexibility to your joints!
Building exercise into your lifestyle and caring for your arthritis symptoms can seem like a daunting task, but the good news is that integrating these small changes can add up and make a big difference! It’s important to consult with a doctor or care professional to ensure you are choosing the activities that are right for you. Schedule your private tour today! Give our compassionate team a call today at 540.246.0888 or email Stanford Moats at DSM@BellaireAtStonePort.com. We look forward to meeting you and showing our award-winning assisted living and memory care community.