Millions of older Canadians – both men and women – suffer from the pain, stiffness, and swelling caused by arthritis. The pain can slow down and limit movements of an individual suffering with this disease. When they move around less, muscles get weaker, and it becomes more challenging to steady and balance them self. Arthritis can also aggravate other physical problems such as osteoporosis.
Sadly, many people do not seek treatment for arthritis because they think that they just have to cope with the condition and endure the pain. This is not true. There are drugs available that help to slow arthritis down and manage the pain. Early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis is important. Once they get the disease under control, they can and should start being more physically active.
Research shows that regular, physical activity will not only make them stronger – it will also help them to better manage their pain and stiffness. Researchers have found that the right kind of regular physical activity actually reduces pain and does not damage the joints. In fact, people who were the least active before were the first to see gains once they started an activity. They also enjoyed the greatest health benefits over time.
Low impact physical activity is best for people with arthritis. Jogging puts too much pressure on leg joints and contact sports are not recommended. As a fitness professional you can offer an activity class that includes:
Specific examples of classes that are suitable to individuals living with arthritis include:
Getting physically active is a great way to join the fight against arthritis and allow your clients to take charge of their own good health. Educate your members and encourage those with arthritis to join a class where they can be safe, socialize, have fun and feel good. They will reap significant health benefits!