Seniors doing yogaAlthough it may be the last thing on your mind when you have an arthritis flare-up, doing gentle exercises can significantly help relieve joint pain.

Physical activity is an important part of arthritis treatment because it not only helps reduce pain, it increases flexibility and strength, promotes better sleep and helps you feel more energized. Reaping the benefits of exercise doesn’t mean intense activity if you’re not up to it – there are plenty of more gentle movements you can try to improve your overall health and reduce symptoms.

Activities to help arthritis typically fall into one of three categories: range of motion; aerobic; and strengthening. Embassy Healthcare offers the following suggestions on exercises or movements you can try to help alleviate arthritic pain:

  • Yoga: This gentle exercise uses relaxation techniques and stretching to help promote a healthy immune system and reduce joint pain.
  • Swimming: Getting in the water is a great way to move without putting too much pressure on your joints. If you can’t or don’t want to swim, join a water aerobics class.
  • Stand up from a chair: An easy way to build leg muscles, this movement is simple: Practice standing up and sitting down in a chair, focusing on controlling the movement – don’t just plop yourself down. Try doing 10-15 repetitions in a chair height that makes the movement doable.
  • Walking: Going for a moderate-to-difficult intensity level for 30 minutes three to five days a week is an excellent way to build bone strength and build endurance. If a half-hour is too much, it’s OK to walk 10 minutes at a time.
  • Tai Chi: This increasingly popular activity for seniors uses slow, controlled movements to boost mobility, reduce pain and increase strength.
  • Fist close: This helps maintain flexibility in your fingers, which is critical for people with arthritis. Make your hand into a fist, doing it slowly if it’s painful or difficult. Hold the fist position for five seconds or longer if you can manage it. Release your hand and repeat the movement.
  • Get in the garden: Gardening can help improve your mental well-being and mood as much as it helps your hands and legs. Don’t do too much right away – gardening can cause significant pain in your hands and wrists after an extended time. 

To learn more about services available at Embassy Healthcare, call 888-975-1379 or contact us online.