Everyone needs to exercise and stay as active as possible, and seniors are no exception. But for those challenged by the difficulties of arthritis, the pain can create an obstacle when trying to maintain a healthy level of physical activity.
Thankfully, the latest recommendations cut back on the level of intensity seniors need to exercise for arthritis, stating that as little as just 45 minutes of exercise each week is sufficient to achieve and maintain a higher degree of functionality – and much less intimidating for those who have the tendency to shy away from exercise.
As Northwestern University professor Dorothy Dunlop shares, “Even a little activity is better than none. For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum might feel more realistic.”
These new guidelines are the result of recent research in which those who devoted the minimum recommendation of 45 minutes of activity per week were 80% more likely to report improvement and/or sustained high future functionality over a 2-year period, when compared to those who exercised less. The results were determined by utilizing accelerometers to measure physical activity in 1,600 adults who expressed experiencing pain or stiffness in the knees, hips, or feet.
And even better, the positive effects were realized even with exercise sessions as brief as just a few minutes at a time. “We found the most effective type of activity to maintain or improve your function two years later was moderate activity, and it did not need to be done in sessions lasting 10 minutes or more, as recommended by federal guidelines,” Dunlop explained.
Naturally, it’s important to always check with the senior’s medical team before starting or modifying any physical activity or exercise program, but with the doctor’s approval, a great place to begin is with the Arthritis Foundation’s app, Walk With Ease, which provides goal-setting, progress-tracking, a guidebook and sample videos to watch online that demonstrate each exercise.
Partner with Complete Care at Home, Montecito senior care experts, to help in a variety of ways. Our fully trained and experienced caregivers are always on hand to provide the motivation and encouragement needed to make exercise for arthritis an enjoyable experience, to provide transportation to exercise classes, the gym, or the pool, and to provide friendly companionship every step of the way. Contact us at 805-727-3445 to request a free in-home consultation to discover more ways we can help a senior you love live life to the fullest!