Dark Mode
, , , ,

Arthritis-Friendly Exercises for Seniors

Arthritis-Friendly Exercises for Seniors

Living with arthritis isn’t easy, especially as you get older. It’s all about balancing the stiffness and pain in your joints with the need to keep moving. While resting might feel better, gentle exercise can do wonders for your 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. 

Health experts recommend seniors with arthritis aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly. Starting with gentle activities and gradually increasing intensity can help the body adapt without exacerbating symptoms. Even short daily sessions are beneficial, promoting flexibility and reducing stiffness more effectively than complete inactivity.

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 is an excellent starting point for anyone with arthritis. It’s simple, effective, and provides many benefits without putting excessive strain on the joints. To make walking more beneficial, consider choosing supportive footwear to cushion and protect your joints. You might also keep your walks interesting by changing your routes frequently, which can help maintain your motivation. Integrating intervals of faster walking into your routine can increase your stamina and cardiovascular health, making each walk a little more effective.


Swimming is considered one of the best exercises for people living with arthritis because the water’s buoyancy significantly reduces joint stress. To enhance the benefits of swimming, start with gentle water walking in the shallow end to warm up before swimming laps. If swimming laps seem daunting, flotation devices can help you stay afloat effortlessly, allowing you to focus on your movements rather than staying afloat.


Cycling is another excellent, low-impact exercise that benefits heart health and joint mobility without the harsh impact associated with some other forms of exercise. Properly adjusting your bike can help avoid unnecessary strain, especially on your knees and back. Beginners should start on flat, smooth paths and gradually introduce more varied terrain as they build confidence and strength. 


Yoga is excellent for maintaining flexibility, reducing joint pain, and improving balance. When starting with yoga, it’s helpful to focus on poses that enhance joint flexibility and muscle strength, such as the Warrior poses or gentle flowing sequences like the Cat-Cow. Participating in classes designed for seniors or those with arthritis can provide guidance and ensure that you perform movements safely.


Stretching daily can help prevent your joints from stiffening and reduce overall pain. Implement dynamic stretches each morning to start your day with energy. After exercising, engage in static stretches to cool down your muscles and help maintain your flexibility. If you have specific areas that tend to get sore or stiff, targeted stretches recommended by a physical therapist can be particularly beneficial.

Strength Training

Incorporating light strength training into your routine can significantly support your joints by building the muscles around them. Starting with light weights and gradually increasing the weight or resistance as you grow more comfortable is key to building strength safely. Exercising exercises that enhance muscle support around your joints can also help prevent further damage. 


Gardening offers therapeutic benefits and a chance to engage in gentle physical activity. Using ergonomic tools can help reduce strain on your joints, making gardening more enjoyable and less painful. Taking regular breaks and using supports like garden kneelers can prevent overexertion. Engaging in various gardening tasks can keep your body moving in diverse ways, which is excellent for your joints and muscles.

Each exercise option provides unique benefits and can be tailored to your health needs and preferences. Experimenting with different activities can help you discover the most effective combination to manage your arthritis symptoms and enhance your quality of life.

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 Oakville at +1 647-697-5869 to learn more and schedule your free consultation.