Almost half of seniors in the U.S. suffer from arthritis, and many believe that physical activity, like exercise, will only make symptoms worse. As it turns out, working out can not only improve your overall wellbeing, but it can also help reduce joint inflammation and other physical arthritis symptoms. It’s true!
If you’re living with arthritis and looking for some relief, here are a few activities to try:
If you’re still hesitant about exercising with arthritis pain, Pilates is a great place to start. This gentle form of exercise develops muscle control, lengthens the body and aligns the spine. What’s not to love? Better yet, Mat Pilates requires no equipment and can be done at home with an on-demand video streaming platform like BurnAlong.. If you prefer a group workout, Reformer Pilates are small-sized classes using machines that offer individualized attention and support. Plus, many of the exercises are done lying down or sitting, reducing your risk of falling.
The bends and twists of yoga may not sound like the best idea for those with arthritis, but a little downward dog can actually help ease swollen joints. New studies show that just eight weeks of intensive yoga can ease physical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. A gentle practice like Yin yoga, for example, focuses on soothing relaxation techniques paired with deep stretching, which can not only reduce inflammation in the body but improve both flexibility and mobility.
If you’re looking to try something new, water aerobics is a great group or solo activity for building muscles and relaxing joints. The low impact exercise uses water to create natural resistance for your body while taking the pressure off your bones. Plus, if you exercise in a heated pool, you’ll receive the added perks of warmth, relieving muscle and joint stiffness with heat therapy.
For those with achy feet and ankles, cycling outdoors or on a stationary bike could help ease the pain. Cycling strengthens your quads and warms up joints, reducing pain and stiffness in your hips, knees, and ankles. Plus, it’s a great cardio workout which is essential for a healthy heart. If you’re new to cycling, be sure to start off slow, moving gently through short rides until you can eventually cycle at a consistent pace for 30 minutes. And don’t forget to stretch!
Ready to try out some new workouts and experience the benefits yourself?