National Arthritis Awareness Month
Adapted from an article by Jasmine Bejarano, Fitness & Wellness Program Specialist
Arthritis Awareness Month is a good time to look at the value of exercise, which can boost senior health and wellness all year round. See what one of the fitness & wellness specialists at Fellowship Square’s assisted living Mesa community has to say:
Exercise is extremely important for people with arthritis. A consistent exercise schedule increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain and helps fight fatigue so you can make the most of independent living for seniors.
Once arthritis pain sets in and the joints begin to stiffen up, exercise seems to be the last thing on anyone’s mind. However, even moderate exercise can ease your pain and help you maintain a healthy weight.
A lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff. This is due to a lack of support from your muscles and surrounding tissues. Exercise, even when it’s as simple as walking your dog, can help improve health and fitness without hurting your joints.
A proper exercise routine can do a lot:
Look at some of what you can accomplish with the right routine:
- Strengthen the muscles around your joints
- Help maintain bone strength
- Give you more energy to get through the day
- Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
- Help control your weight
- Enhance your quality of life
- Improve your balance
What are some exercises that can help?
Range of motion exercises relieve stiffness and increase your ability to move your joints through their full range of motion. These exercises might include movements such as:
- Raising your arms over your head
- Rolling your shoulders forward/backwards
- Ankle circles
- Wrist circles
In most cases, these exercises can be done daily by anyone whose health allows for independent living or often even assisted living.
Strengthening exercises help you build strong muscles that help support and protect your joints. Weight training is an example of a strengthening exercise that can help you maintain or increase your muscle strength. Remember to avoid exercising the same muscle groups two days in a row.
Beginner strengthening exercises may include:
- Bicep curls
- Sit to stand
- TheraBand pull-aparts
- TheraBand hip abduction
Aerobic or endurance exercises focus on your overall fitness. They can improve your cardiovascular health, help control your weight, and give you more stamina and energy to take advantage of Arizona senior living with Fellowship Square Historic Mesa’s numerous services and special events.
Low-impact aerobic exercise that are easier on your joints include:
- Nu-Step Machines
Tips to keep in mind
Anytime you’re taking steps to enhance senior fitness, remember these ways to protect your joints:
- Keep the impact low
- Apply heat before you begin
- Move gently
- Go slowly
- Ice afterwards
Keeping up with fitness exercises and education can make it easier to enjoy life before, during and after a move to Fellowship Square, a transition to assisted living, Mesa or any other lifestyle you choose.