Older adults are no exception to the rule that we should exercise and stay active to maintain health. But if you are battling arthritis, it can be difficult to maintain a good amount of exercise because of pain.
Fortunately, the latest recommendations ease back on the intensity of activity for seniors with arthritis, specifying that as little as just 45 minutes of physical activity weekly is enough to attain and maintain a high level of functionality – and much less overwhelming for people who have a tendency to steer clear of exercise.
As outlined by Northwestern University professor Dorothy Dunlop, “For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum might feel more realistic.”
In spite of these scaled-back recommendations, unfortunately, as few as 10% of the elderly fighting the challenges of arthritis are accomplishing this level of activity. However, participants in a recent study who achieved the 45-minute level of moderate exercise per week showed an astounding 80% increase in sustained or improved functionality over a 2-year period of time, compared with people who were less active. And it was confirmed that even though any amount of exercise is better than nothing, the 45-minute weekly guideline is optimal.
Needless to say, always check with the older adult’s physician before beginning or modifying any activity or exercise program. With his or her consent, a great place to get started is with the Arthritis Foundation’s app, Walk With Ease, which includes goal-setting, progress-tracking, a handbook and sample online videos to demonstrate the exercises. Setting aside designated times daily for physical activity, and turning it into a top priority, may help make certain exercise becomes an ingrained routine and boosts the possibility of its success.
Additionally you can partner with Aventa Senior Care, the Arizona home care experts, for a companion to help encourage and motivate participation in an exercise program. It’s always more fun with a friend! We can also offer transportation and accompaniment to exercise programs, to parks or other outdoor locations for enjoyable walks together, to doctors’ appointments, and more. Call us at (480) 535-6800 to learn more.