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Arthritis-Friendly Exercises for Seniors in Calgary

Arthritis-Friendly Exercises for Seniors in Calgary

Arthritis causes stiff, achy joints which can make moving around painful. It can affect everything from your fingers to your toes. Rest and reducing your activity levels can seem like a logical solution, but actually being more active can play an integral role in managing symptoms. Physical activity is good for arthritis, as long as you don’t overdo it, because it helps to keep your joints flexible and strengthen the muscles around them.

It is important to listen to your body and know your limits, but try to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week. Start slowly and work your way up as your body gets used to being more active and you begin feeling the benefits. Remember that exercising for even a few minutes a day and getting your body moving is better than doing nothing at all.

Talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise program would be best for you, but here are a few arthritis-friendly activities to consider:

Walking: The best thing about walking is that it requires no equipment, and you can do it virtually anywhere! Do a few laps around your neighborhood, go to the park, walk around the mall, or hop on the treadmill. Try to keep a brisk pace that gets your heart rate up and keeps your joints moving.

Swimming: Warm water can feel wonderful on your joints and help loosen them up. Water also offers gentle resistance to strengthen your muscles without putting too much pressure on them. Plus, your body has some natural buoyancy to keep you afloat. You can do some exercises on your own or join a water aerobics class for guided activities.

Biking: Riding a traditional or stationary bike is another exercise that is easy on the joints. Adjust the gear or resistance level to find a setting that is comfortable, and make sure the seat height allows you to extend your legs as much as you are able. Switch up how vigorously you ride to keep things interesting and enhance the health benefits.

Yoga: Yoga is a good activity not only to build strength, but also flexibility and balance. Each movement is precise and controlled, yet they slowly flow into one another. You can modify positions based on your abilities and how your arthritis is impacting you, and as you continue to practice, you can add more poses to your repertoire.

Stretching: Don’t underestimate the benefits of engaging in simple stretching exercises. You can do them seated or standing and switch between different muscles groups. This can be a wonderful way to warm up for other activities or something you can do throughout the day to loosen your joints if they start feeling stiff.

Strength Training: Use some light weights to add more resistance to your daily exercise routines. It allows you to build up and tone your muscles while also improving your balance and joint stability. If you don’t have weights, you can use bottles of water or canned goods.

Gardening: Pulling weeds, digging holes, planting seeds, and watering all require your body to move in different ways. Repetitive actions can help increase range of motion and stretch your joints and muscles without causing too much strain. Plus, you get to enjoy the beauty of your flowers or the delicious taste of vegetables or herbs that you have grown.

These are just a few of the arthritis-friendly activities you can try incorporating into your lifestyle. There are plenty of other options to explore as well including Pilates, dance, tai chi, or group exercise classes. Find what you enjoy and what helps you manage your arthritis symptoms.

Physical activity is just one part of managing and living with arthritis. Working with an in-home caregiver can provide you with support throughout other aspects of your life, enabling you to age in place more safely and comfortably. Contact Always Best Care at (587) 323-4370 to learn more and schedule your free consultation.