Denise Sanger

Denise Sanger

Not sure about you but I've been loving the cooler temps especially in the morning. It has been cool enough that I have had to pull on my ratty old Cleveland Indians sweatshirt that my mother keeps trying to throw away. It has to be at least 30 years old and feels like an old friend when I pull it on in the morning. I have to tell mom not to toss it. After all no one is going to see it; I'm not walking a runway. I'm feeding the horses and they don't care what I look like at 6 a.m.

One thing I have noticed with the cooler temps though is joint pain specifically in my hips and knuckles. I keep thinking to myself it can't be arthritis but it does seem to tick up a notch when the temps cool down. What's the best way to deal with arthritis pain? You keep on keeping on. Meaning you keep moving. Exercise is crucial for folks dealing with arthritis. Not only does it increase strength and flexibility, it reduces pain as well.

It's not easy though to get up and move when you're in pain from arthritis. The thought of taking a 10-minute walk can feel overwhelming. But that's exactly what you need to do. Here are a few reasons why you have to be tougher than your excuses:

• Exercise strengthens the muscles surrounding your joints.

• Exercise provides energy to help you navigate through your day.

• Helps maintain bone strength.

• Improves balance.

You may think exercising will hurt more than help if you have arthritis, but those are pretty good reasons to make exercise a part of your day in general. When you're dealing with arthritis, lack of exercise may actually make your joints more stiff and painful. 

First check with your doctor or primary care giver about including exercise in your treatment plan. Once you have the all clear, you want to include range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises as well as cardio exercises. The following exercises for arthritis are a great place to start:

• Stretching exercises such as yoga or Tai Chi. I feel 1000% better after my morning Gentle Flow Yoga session and yes I do yoga almost every day.

• Walking. Walking is a low impact exercise that not only helps with joint flexibility and strength, it works your heart too. Winning combination.

• Water exercises such as those done in a water aerobics classes or simply walking in the water. The water provides gentle resistance which helps you strengthen your muscles and joints.

To get the benefits of exercise, consistency is key. Yes, it may be more difficult some days than others, but you need to pull on your big girl or big boy panties and just do it as Nike says. Get up. Get moving. Have an amazing week.

To your health,

Denise

Denise Sanger is an over 50 health/lifestyle blogger and speaker. Known for motivation, inspiration & loving the BEACH. Certified fitness instructor, Silver Sneakers Instructor, Zumba, STRONG by Zumba instructor, gentle flow yoga, teaches morning classes at Country Strong Gym. Denise may be reached at DeniseSanger.com, 386-292-6105 or denisesanger@gmail.com.

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