Exercise is good for the health of everyone at every age, and seniors are certainly no different. In fact, since joint pain, especially in the knees is common in older adults, exercise is even more essential because it helps to combat such conditions. Before you or your loved one begins an exercise program, it’s important to see a doctor to ensure that exercising is safe. It’s also important to find out which exercises should be avoided, since certain moves can make arthritic knees more painful. The following five stretches are perfect for older adults with arthritic knees and not only will they not cause knee pain to worsen, they’ll actually alleviate pain.
Knee to Chest Curl – Place a comfortable mat on the floor. Lie on the mat, on your back with your legs and arms straight out by your side. Pull one knee toward your chest, and using your hands, pull your thigh as close as possible to your chest. Hold for 25 seconds. Slowly lower your leg and repeat with your opposite leg. Do 15 to 20 repetitions.
Hamstring Stretch – Sit on your mat with your legs outstretched. Slowly lower your torso by bending forward from the hips, reaching for your toes with your hands. Without bouncing, stretch as far forward as possible and hold for 25 seconds. Return to a sitting position, relaxing for a few seconds before repeating. Do 10 repetitions.
Quad Stretch – Lie on your stomach with both legs outstretched and your arms by your side. Bend your right knee and slowly raise your leg back as far as possible. Grab your foot with you right hand and hold for 25 seconds. Lower your leg and repeat with the opposite leg. Do 10 repetitions on each leg.
Calf Stretch – Using a chair for balance, bend your right leg. Step back with your left leg and slowly straighten it behind you. Press left heel towards the floor and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat twice before switching legs.
Seated Hip March – Sit up straight in a chair and slightly kick back your left foot but with toes remaining on the floor. Lift your right foot off the floor but keep your knee bent. Hold your right leg in the air for 5 seconds before slowly lowering your foot to the ground. Repeat 10 times and then switch legs. If this stretch feels too difficult, you can use your hands to assist with raising your legs.
Senior Stretches – http://www.qualityhealth.com/arthritis-articles/best-stretches-arthritic-knees
Web MD Exercises for sore knees – http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/joint-injections-9/slideshow-knee-exercises