Osteoarthritis is the joint condition that affects the hips, back, and knees. It results from a gradual wearing of the joints over time. This joint disorder commonly affects senior members of the population. It is known that exercise strengthens muscles and helps to minimize the symptoms of arthritis. Not all exercises are appropriate or possible for seniors with arthritic knees. Because of the weakening of muscles caused by under-use, there is always a risk for falls. There are some exercise that can help senior citizens with arthritic knees to increase muscle strength in their legs.
Water Walking is an exercise that most people with arthritis can do, even seniors. Water Walking is exactly what it sounds like. You walk through water in a pool that is waist to chest deep, making sure to place your foot flat on the bottom of the pool. The idea behind Water Walking is increased resistance without putting pressure on your knee joints. A flotation belt will help to keep you upright. It is also important to only engage in this type of exercise in a pool staffed with certified lifeguards. You can find more information on increasing your resistance during Water-Walking for seniors with arthritic knees at www.arthritistoday.org.
Yoga is another minimal impact exercise for seniors with arthritic knees. Recently, yoga classes have been tailored for seniors with arthritic knees. Some of these modifications to traditional yoga include water yoga and chair yoga classes. In water yoga, the poses are performed in a pool to minimize impact to the knee joints. Chair yoga is the practice of performing yoga poses while either seated in a chair, or using it as support while standing. Look online for chair and yoga classes near you, or check out www.abc-of-yoga.com for chair yoga exercises that you can do at home. An added bonus of yoga is that it acts to reduce stress which can eventually lead to decreased pain.
Stretching exercises either while seated, or lying on the floor can be great exercises that seniors with arthritic knees can perform. Because you are not standing, there is no stress on the joints of the knees that are affected by osteoarthritis. The site www.arthritistoday.org offers stretching videos tailored to seniors with arthritis. The most important thing to remember is to make sure that someone is close by to help you if you have difficulty standing.
Strength training for seniors with arthritic knees is not only possible, but can reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Ankle weights are available, and can be found in varying weights depending on your personal level of strength, fitness and preference.
It is important to remember to consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen as he or she can advise you to the best possible exercise course for your condition.