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Exercise For Seniors With Arthritis
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Exercise for Seniors With Arthritis

Let's discuss how exercising can help reduce aches and pains. Not only is it beneficial, for the most part it can be done at NO cost (free is always best). Research has shown that exercise and managing your arthritis go hand in hand.

I am a member of Sliver Sneakers which allows me to exercise for free at my local recreation center (many YMCA's also accept Silver Sneakers members). I have a supplemental provider to my Medicare which provides Silver Sneakers at no cost. Check with your insurance provider to see if they offer Silver Sneakers.

First, remember to consult with your health care provider before engaging in any exercise program.

There are three types of exercises which seniors should engage in. Flexibility and stretching, strengthening or weight resistance training, and aerobics for cardiovascular health.

Always start out slowly with a warmup session which may consist of walking at an easy pace and some slight stretching. This may be all some people can do. That's OK, just do it. Try to stretch each part of your body, arms, legs, torso. Please do it slowly. If you are a member of a club, there are trainers available to guide you through a thorough workout.

Weight resistance training an be done with free weights like barbells and dumbbells or on machines. The important thing to remember is not to overdo it. Stay within your limits. You are not training to be a weightlifting champion. You simply want to exercise your muscles.

Aerobics can include so many activities from walking, cycling, swimming, machines (treadmills, ellipticals, etc.), jogging and more. I like to do 40 minutes a day, 5 or 6 days a week. US Dept of Health and Human Services recommends 2-1/2 hours per week of moderate aerobics or 1-1/4 hours per week of vigorous activity. However, be careful about vigorous activity. Like anything else in life, do it in moderation.

What is the hard part of an exercise program? The answer is getting started. What is even harder? The answer is "staying with it". Each time you start out to exercise, it takes discipline to get going. However, I have never once felt it was the wrong thing to do. It always feels great when you finish exercising.

I've been exercising for close to 20 years. Looking back I wish I would have started when I was younger. Even in my mid 70's, I feel great and I am in better shape than when I was in my 40's. When I started exercising in my mid 50's, I was a jogger. I did this for 15 years and quit when I turned 70.

I hope this article and my story will inspire you to start an exercise program. I'd like to hear your story and any comments you may have on exercising for seniors.

Street Talk

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