The rule to exercise and stay as active as possible for the best health applies to older adults as well! But exercise for seniors with arthritis can be difficult to maintain because of pain.
The good news is, the newest recommendations ease back on the intensity of exercise for seniors with arthritis, indicating that as little as just 45 minutes of activity per week is sufficient to attain and maintain a high level of functionality – and less daunting for those who are more likely to steer clear of exercise.
In accordance with 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, sadly, as few as 10% of aging adults experiencing the challenges of arthritis are accomplishing this level of activity. On the other hand, people in a recent study who achieved the 45-minute level of moderate activity each week demonstrated an incredible 80% increase in sustained or improved functionality over a 2-year period of time, compared with individuals who were less active. And it was confirmed that even though any amount of exercise is preferable to nothing, the 45-minute a week guideline is optimal.
Of course, always check with the individual’s health care provider prior to starting or modifying any activity or exercise program. With his or her consent, an excellent place to start out is with the Arthritis Foundation’s app, Walk With Ease, that features goal-setting, progress-tracking, a guidebook and sample online videos in order to show the exercises. Setting aside designated times each day for physical activity, and making it a top priority, can help ensure activity becomes an ingrained routine and increases the possibility of its success.
You can also partner with Heaven at Home Senior Care for a professional Dallas caregiver to help motivate engagement in exercise for seniors with arthritis. It’s always more enjoyable with a friend! We can also offer transportation and accompaniment to exercise programs, to parks or other outdoor areas for pleasant walks together, to doctors’ appointments, and more. Call us at 866.381.0500 or contact us online to learn more.