Age Brilliantly: Exercise Is Key
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 12:00 AM

Staying fit as you age is essential to a long-term healthy lifestyle. Research has shown that exercise can reduce joint stiffness, pain and inflammation and boost brain function. Although seniors often feel it gets harder to exercise as they get older, exercise is crucial to achieving wellness in patients with arthritic conditions. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) provides tips for all ages on how to get moving:

  • Commit to physical activities you will enjoy doing such as biking, swimming or gardening. Group activities or exercising with friends can help make exercising more pleasant.

  • Use normal daily activities to help your muscles and bones become healthier. Activities such as vacuuming, sweeping and loading and emptying the dishwasher can increase strength and flexibility. Lift with your legs, and avoid sharp twists and turns.

  • Start slow. Start with five minutes of exercise each day and, as you become more comfortable with the routine and notice the effects of fitness, you may increase the exercise time.

  • If you have been inactive for some time you may feel some minor aches and pains. Consult with your doctor of chiropractic if you experience any unusual or moderate pain or other symptoms during or after your exercises.

While many seniors feel frightened by the idea of becoming active. Recent studies show that while muscle strength diminishes with age, muscle endurance does not. Exercises that emphasizes endurance, such as dancing, walking or bicycling, are recommended, but there are endurance-enhancing exercises that can be performed in a chair. Doctors of chiropractic can provide advice on how to help older patients remain active and independent.

Exercise is essential in successful arthritis management while rest helps to decrease active joint inflammation, pain and fatigue. Arthritis patients need a good balance between exercise and rest to achieve maximum wellness. ACA recommends range-of-motion exercises, strength training and aerobic exercises. For more examples, refer to this fact sheet.

Source:  May 2016 ACA ChiroHealth Newsletter