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Tips for managing arthritis for older adults

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Tips for managing arthritis for older adults and the elderly

Aging, or getting old, can be a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, it’s common that aging increases the risks for certain health problems, like arthritis, diabetes, incontinence, heart diseases, osteoporosis and others. 

Arthritis in particular affects 54 million adults today, and that number is expected to grow to 78 million by 2040. Arthritis causes pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints. For the elderly, this can make it very difficult to function in normal, everyday life. 

Fortunately, there are some tips for the elderly that can help manage this pain. 

A healthy, anti-inflammatory rich diet

Good food and a healthy diet are as important as any other single factor when it comes to staying active. We know this sounds like we’re harping, but it’s tough to get up on your feet when feeling sluggish and weighed down.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy the things you love to eat. You can still have a small dessert after dinner or enjoy your favorite snack in the afternoon. The key is to limit it to one serving. Part of a healthy diet is knowing when to stop, and not eating too much. This is one reason why we encourage people to treat buffet restaurants as a treat, not as a regular occurrence.

Regular stretching and exercise

Exercise for at least thirty minutes every day. Seriously. Getting your blood moving for a short period of time helps keep your body used to activity so that you won’t tire as easily when you have a long day of travel, work, or with the grandkids. This exercise can include stuff you already do such as walking around a park or over to visit a friend or relative.

Choose an exercise or activity that you enjoy doing and that is the best for your body, whether you have always been active or are just starting. Bowling, walking, dancing, swimming, water aerobics, resistance training, and light weight training are some good options, to begin with, though we advise you to consult your family doctor before starting any exercise program.

Go fishing with the grandkids

Usually, when fishing is brought into a conversation, it’s one about conservation, about getting out onto the water with family or friends, or a combination storytelling session and bragging match about who has caught the biggest fish. The ability of a day of fishing to calm the mind and relieve stress are well known, but rarely are fishing’s physical benefits brought to light.

Fishing can be tough on arthritis because of the intricate process of preparing a line, bait and tackle, and everything else that goes into the preparation. For some with wrist or elbow pain, even the act of casting the line can trigger an arthritic flare-up. But as ergonomic fishing rods continue to evolve and become more popular, it is getting easier to fish with arthritis.

This is also a fun sport to pick up at an older age because of how easy it is to connect with other fishermen and women who can share their know-how and tricks of the trade. We recommend going with a family member or friend, and leaving the finger work to them.

Birdwatching

Birdwatching goes well with our lead activity here on this list, walking (and can make it more fun as well). As you can fish nearly everywhere there is a water source, you can spot birds nearly anywhere there is a nature preserve, a park, or even a collection of trees. 

As a resource, follow up-to-date birding news from Birdwatching. Their website can educate you on what to look for in your area and when you might have the best chance of spotting, as well as tips for optimizing your time out birding.

Walk — to markets and fairs, to the park, or even just around the block

There’s actually immense benefit to be taken from strolling between booths at your neighborhood farmer’s market. A recent article in Outside magazine, written by author and habitual walking enthusiast Shane O’Mara noted that the simple act of taking regular walks boosts how you feel afterward — both mentally and physically. 

O’Mara makes the claim broadly, speaking to any with the physical ability to do so. Still, it certainly appears that walking is the easiest (and cheapest) way we can get outside and keep active despite our arthritis. For those of us with chronic arthritis, the takeaways are clear — go at your own pace, stop as often as necessary, and carry an umbrella — especially this time of year.

Arthritis.org backs this up. The site, viewed by many as the most trusted authority for arthritis information on the internet, notes walking as one of the single most important things that people with arthritis can do to curb their pain. 

Not only does walking keep your muscles and joints active and engaged, but it also helps you maintain weight and keeps your body accustomed to physical exercise. It keeps you outside and moving rather than cooped up in the living room, too, so there’s really no reason not to get out for a stroll

And you can do so just about anywhere — to your neighborhood farmer’s market, to take the dog or the grandkids to the park, or simply to head down the block for a friendly chat. Make it out for a short stroll each day and once or twice per week on a longer walk and you’re doing quite well.

If you happen to get caught in a rainstorm, channel your inner-Gene Kelly and fire up a tune. You may arrive to your destination wet, but you’ll also arrive happy and with a smile on your face.

Try a supplement that can help you manage inflammation

Green Lipped Mussel Oil, like that found in GLX3, is very helpful for age-related joint conditions. Rich in Omega-3 nutrients that help to restore healthy joint structure, lubrication, and function, GLX3 is the easiest to take charge of joint pain and inflammation. This one-a-day supplement is known to naturally maintain and support mobility of joint health. It also helps in maintaining healthy cartilage in people as they age, according to studies.

Taking a daily supplement is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your efforts at staying healthy and active. With GLX3, you’re getting a sustainably sourced, all-natural supplement that can help lower the pain from a lifetime’s wear on your joints.

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