Our golden years are a time to settle into rest and relaxation mode and enjoy the spoils of our hard work. Jerry Core, a 66 year-old retired husband, father and grandfather, however, decided it was about much more, deciding to tackle a new and rigorous hobby of triathlon competition.
Do stay active
Many people who suffer from joint pain think exercise will make things worse. In fact, exercise can help manage pain and strengthen muscle, which in turn reduces pressure on cartilage. Walking is one of the best exercises for people who suffer from arthritis, as are water-based exercises and other low-impact activities such as riding a bicycle.
Do not go overboard with exercise
Many people, especially younger patients, who suffer from joint pain tend to push themselves harder in their exercises routines. It is important to exercise, but going overboard can be detrimental as it can further wear down your joints. When you exercise, it is best to avoid heavy weights. Instead, use less weight and perform more reps. Avoid endurance sports like long-distance running. Walking, cycling, or swimming are all good alternatives to demanding exercise.
Achy knees, stiff hips, pain in the wrists, elbows and ankles—there is a large variety of joint pain and it affects people differently. However, one thing remains true across the board—it lowers quality of life, often leading to loss of mobility, frustration at not being able to enjoy favorite hobbies, and sometimes even feelings of helplessness and depression. Though there is no known cure for arthritis, patients have more options now than ever before to help manage pain and the disease.
A well-balanced program of physical activity includes three main components: aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility training. Commitment to a regular physical activity program is more important than the intensity of your workouts. Choose exercises you are likely to pursue and enjoy, such as walking, running, stair climbing, biking, rowing, cross-country skiing, swimming or classes such as ZUMBA or Jazzercise.