If your senior family member is going to start exercising as the primary tool in managing her arthritis, she needs to get the most benefit from it. These tips can help her to get the most out of moving more.
Don’t Race into it on Day One.
The biggest mistake your senior could make when she’s starting an exercise routine is to race in on the first day and overdo it immediately. This is something that your elderly family member has to approach with a slow and steady attitude if she wants to succeed and stick with it. She needs to ramp up her activity levels, especially if she’s been very sedentary in the past.
Avoid Overdoing Exercise.
Even after your elderly family member has been exercising for a little while, she could be at risk of overdoing it. She needs to learn to listen to what her body is telling her and not do too much. She doesn’t need to exercise for hours at a time in order to get serious benefits.
Encourage Exercise When She’s Less Symptomatic.
There’s an ebb and flow to living with arthritis and your elderly family member might find that if she’s trying to exercise when she doesn’t feel great, that only makes it all worse. Waiting until she’s a little less stiff or exercising before her energy wanes completely is all part of learning her routine.
Keep at It.
Consistency is the biggest key to exercise and managing arthritis pain. Your elderly family member’s doctor can give her some suggestions about what types of exercise are the best fit for her specific situation. It’s important that your elderly family member choose exercises that she enjoys so that she’s able to keep going.
Rest Is Part of the Exercise Cycle.
Something that people tend to forget is that the exercise cycle isn’t about just moving more. It also involves alternating rest with movement to allow the body to catch up. Your senior can learn her own optimal rhythm by listening to her body and honoring what it needs at any given moment.
If your elderly family member finds it difficult to stick with her exercise routine, look for simple ways to make it a bigger part of every day. It might help for elder care providers to prompt her with reminders throughout the day, too. They can also set your senior up for success by making sure that she’s eating nutritious meals full of healthy ingredients for an energy boost.