A common affliction among older people, arthritis is characterised by stiff and painful joints. However, this should not be used as an excuse to stay away from fitness activities!
The good news is that your ageing body is not as limited as you might think it is. There is, in fact, a range of gentle exercises that can actually alleviate the discomfort brought about by this ailment. All you have to do is to start slow. Over time, as you get stronger and more agile, you can increase the intensity of your exercises.
Not sure how to start? Have a go at a few simple recommendations that we have here!
Sit upright in a chair with your hands by your side or on your lap. Stretch one leg out in front of you, keeping it straight. Flex the foot that is outstretched, pointing your toes up to the sky. Lower the leg slowly back down and repeat the exercise with your other leg.
Before beginning this exercise, ensure that you are positioned near a stable piece of furniture that you can grab on to, in case you lose your balance. To begin, stand upright, with both feet planted slightly apart. Next, lift a foot off the ground, bending its knee slightly. For better balance, try focusing on a single item in front of you. Hold in this position for 10 seconds, drop your foot, and repeat with the other.
Sit, cross-legged, on the ground. Stretch one leg out in front of you and reach out as far as possible to touch your toes. Hold in this position for 10 seconds before repeating this exercise with your other leg.
Stand with your feet apart and stretch your arms in front of you – hold on to something for balance if necessary! Bend your knees slowly into a half-squat position, keeping your upper body upright. Hold this position for 10 seconds before relaxing and repeating the activity.
If you prefer the sun and some fresh air, brisk-walking is also an effective cardiovascular activity that will help you to shed the excess weight placing pressure on your joints. Do remember to start slow, in the event of any discomfort, and build up your pace one session at a time.
Walking in the water
Pool exercises are beneficial in training up resistance without having to buy weights, bands, and the like. In fact, studies claim that water offers up to 12 times the amount of resistance that air provides! All you have to do is to take your walking sessions to the swimming pool and walk forwards, backwards, and sideways to work the different muscles in your body. If you are up to it, try lifting your knees as you do so.