As we all get older, there seems to be a correlation to our age and how many aches and pains we feel. Whether the aches and pains are caused by the experiences of living life or the activities we have participated in, many older adults often experience arthritis in addition to garden variety pains due to aging..
Arthritis is a joint disorder that causes inflammation, which can often be painful. From my experience of speaking to many individuals in my senior programs; I can attest that arthritis is often a main cause of pain for seniors. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there must be something we can do to alleviate the sometimes-debilitating effects that it may cause.
For most of us, we use exercise as a means for losing weight or building muscle. However, I would like to suggest that we use exercise for its other purpose — its healing powers. Below are 4 ways exercise can heal:
- Lubricate joints – Walking, biking and swimming are all great exercises for arthritis. They provide high repetitions and low resistance without the pounding and impact on joints that other types of exercise deliver. Light exercise or a good warm up has been known to alleviate pain in your body, a good recommendation is to choose exercises that get you moving without causing inflammation in your joints.
- Boost endorphins – Exercise produces endorphins that provide a natural high. According to Dr. Stoppler, endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. For those in pain, a good thing to do is to just start moving.
- Weight loss – The heavier you are, the more weight your joints have to carry. A simple solution to take stress off your joints is to lose some weight. Following a nutritional and exercise regimen prescribed by your doctor is the best way to lose some weight and hopefully, ease the pain in your body.
- Building muscle – One of the best treatments for arthritis in the knees is to strengthen your quadriceps. If you are unsure where your quadriceps are, they are the large muscles at the front of your thighs. Strengthening these muscles is particularly important because the quadriceps stabilize the knee and act as shock absorbers. Doing exercises (such as wall sits) can still provide you with the means to strengthen your quads while avoiding the up-and-down motion of squats that may aggravate your joints.
Today, when we look at where many people get relief pain relief from, the solution often comes from medication in a bottle. Unfortunately for those who choose this route, they are missing out on the amazing power the body has to heal itself.
About the Author: Eric Daw is an active aging specialist and the owner of Omni Fitt. Omni Fitt is dedicated to the wellbeing, health and quality of life of people aged 55 and over. Eric motivates and empowers the older adult population to take responsibility for their independence, health and fitness through motivating and positive coaching experiences.