The pain of arthritis can leave those inflicted with limited mobility. As the disease progresses the desire to remain immobile only increases, leading to further joint deterioration and a vicious cycle
begins. Those with arthritis need an exercise program that limits the stress on painful joints while increasing strength and flexibility. Exercise helps control weight and therefore the pressure applied to arthritic joints. It improves balance and helps maintain bone strength. Be sure to check with your parent’s health care provider before beginning an exercise program and have them start slowly and work up. Your loved one’s ability to remain independent and perform the daily activities of living may well depend on an exercise program.
Below are just a few of the many exercise routines that have been shown to help those with arthritis:
- Tai Chi. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that consists of various poses and fluid movements that bring the body from one pose to the next. Researchers at Tufts Medical Center in Boston concluded that Tai Chi can “reduce the pain and physical impairment of people with severe knee osteoarthritis.” Classes can be found at senior community centers and the local Y.
- Yoga. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress and pain, and increase flexibility. There are several types. Those with arthritis want to choose one of the gentler approaches such as Hatha yoga and be sure your loved one is signing up for a beginner’s class. With the increasing popularity of this form of exercise for seniors, many classes are specifically designed with this age group in mind. Senior community centers and local instructors usually offer various forms of this relaxing exercise.
- Aerobics. Aquatic exercise is usually done in waste deep water and varies in the class focus from gentle stretching to intense aerobic and resistance training. It’s best to find a warm water pool with classes that are designed for those with arthritis. Gradually work up as fitness level increases. Swimsuits that use Velcro or are wrap-around can be easier to remove when wet for those with arthritis. This is one of the best exercises for those with moderate to severe arthritic conditions.
- Videos. If your parent does not do well in a group setting, consider obtaining one of the many exercise videos that are designed with those with arthritis in mind. These include Tai Chi, yoga, strength training and stretching courses.
- Elder Care Provider. If your parent requires assistance with the daily activities of living or transportation to classes, consider the services of an elder care provider. These professionals can offer assistance with bathing, dressing and meal preparation as well as provide transportation and accompany your parent on daily walks. They can provide companionship and motivate your parent to exercise together on the days when they’d prefer to stay in the recliner.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Clark, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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