Best Joint Health Exercises For Senior Citizens

Best Joint Health Exercises For Senior Citizens

Have you been thinking twice before going out on that morning walk because of stiff joints? Are you more likely to avoid that enjoyable spot of golf with your friends, due to that niggling hip pain? 

As a study in the British Society of Rheumatology Journal says that close to 83% of people above the age of 75 years report some degree of joint pain. This, in turn, affects one’s independence & mobility, energy levels, and mood.

But this is not always a given. 

By the time you are done reading this article, you will know that just because you are a senior, doesn’t mean that you need to live with achy joints. We will share a workout routine for older adults along with other essentials that will help you enjoy many more productive and happier decades. 

Why Does Exercising Matter?

According to a National Library of Medicine publication, osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of joint wear and tear. It is caused by obesity, inactivity, injury, and other such reasons. 

Having an exercise routine at any age is essential for great joint health. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in older age, exercising becomes critical and life-changing. 

Before we talk about some of the best exercises for joint pain in seniors, let’s take a quick look at some great reasons to include working out in your routine:

  • Exercising helps relieve arthritis-related joint pain and stiffness.
  • Strength training prevents bone loss and reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
  • Working out helps you lose weight. This reduces the pressure on your joints, leading to pain reduction.
  • It helps release endorphins or the ‘happy hormones’, which help keep you relaxed and reduce stress.

Which Are Some of the Best Exercises For Seniors?

One of the most essential things about exercises for the elderly is that they need to be safe and customized depending on your health and medical conditions, if any.

We have curated some of the best exercises for you to include in your routine:

1. Walking: This is not just simple, but also an effective form of cardio. It also strengthens the muscles and improves your balance and coordination. 

2. Bodyweight exercises: Amongst the most effective exercises for the elderly, bodyweight exercises help prevent muscle loss and atrophy. They keep you mobile, are simple to learn, and are practically free to do! Some exercises that you can try include:

  • Squats/ chair squats
  • Wall push-ups
  • Lying hip bridges
  • Side leg lifts
3. Strength training exercises: Strength training exercises are great for increasing bone density and rebuilding your muscles. Some exercises to try are:
  • Bicep curls
  • Overhead press
  • Triceps extension
  • Front raise
4. Water aerobics: Water aerobics are not just a super fun way to beat the heat, but are also a great joint pain relief workout. Water works as a cushion against joint pain and improves your flexibility and coordination. You can try:
  • Arm curls
  • Flutter kicking 
  • Standing water push-ups
  • Aqua jogging
5. Chair yoga: Yoga poses serve as effective stretches for joint pain (see also 'Is Joint Pain Inevitable With Age?'). They are relaxing, improve your muscle strength, and enhance your mobility. With a chair used as a prop, these exercises don’t put unnecessary pressure on your joints. It also promotes better sleep patterns and lower stress and anxiety. Try these poses:
  • Chair cat-cow stretch
  • Chair forward bend
  • Chair extended side angle

Also Read: Ways for Older Adults to Keep Their Joints Healthy

What Are Some Ways to Better Your Exercise Routine?

While exercising is a proven way to enhance your joint health, it cannot be expected to benefit in isolation. Here are some things that will help you develop a holistic whole-body approach:

  • Eat a healthy diet and get enough nutrition.

In conclusion

The best seniors’ exercise plan is the one that makes you feel good and comfortable. You can be as innovative as you like to be. If you love to dance, let that be your exercise routine. This is the only way you’re likely to stick to it. As a final word of advice, take your physician’s approval before starting any exercise regime for it to be effective and safe for you. 

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