Stay healthy especially during the COVID 19 epidemic and be ready to live again!Those of us who are getting on a little, 60+, 70+ (and more) find physical activity is harder work, joints become stiff, arthritic knees, hips, shoulders and hands become painful due to inflammation, and yes, they do hurt! However, much as it is hard, we must try and beat the aches and pains and keep moving because if we don’t, we will become less mobile and the pain will be even greater.
Physical exercise can be as much or as little as we can cope with, but it beats thealternative.People living in smaller homes, boats, mobile homes or those in larger spacious homes can actually do quite lot of simple exercises in or around a favourite chair, in the kitchen/galley and bedroom. No need to head for the gym, do it at home with people around – don’t be shy and if you do feel pain there will be someone to help you.
Remember, stiff joints will get more stiff and painful the less that you use them. Always follow doctors advice before doing anything that may cause pain or harm.
Examples that you may wish to try, Hands can become stiff and painful due to arthritic inflammation, gently squeeze your hands into a fist and open it again, do this a few times and stop, next day do a few more. Flexing finger joints can ease them and if you are not too vigorous this should not cause pain.
If you experience severe pain stop.Standing and sitting, using a straight-backed chair stand up – unaided if you can– then sit again. Repeat this five or six times. Do this daily increasing by one or two each day. If you experience pain, stop! The more you take gentle exercise the easier your joints will become – just don’t overdo it! Using a bed-end or rail, chair back or transom board, bend at the knees until youare squatting on your haunches – gently, using the nearest support for balance stand upright, repeat this ten times – five if it is too hard, add one on each day until you can do twenty but do not overdo it, every muscle and sinew below the waist will get a gentle workout and blood will circulate throughout your body.
Use a stair case or boat transom, chair or other stable support, do press-ups gently using the support, feet on the floor at the bottom and hands on a stair fouror five up from the bottom, do one or two per session until you can do ten, workyour way up by a few more each day, this will give your chest a work out – but only do this with great care and do not go against doctors’ orders.
People who have heart condition must not do this unless sanctioned by their doctor! Stair cases or similar, a ladder aboard a boat etc, ascend the stairs, descend the stairs, do this a few times until you are gently out of breath, this exercise is excellent for making all your muscles and tendons work.
Swim, where possible swimming is a pastime that exercises every part of your body without putting strain on joints and is excellent for cardio vascular health. Clearly at this time swimming is not possible except for those who live on or very close to the water. Always follow official instructions and guidance regarding social distancing and health protection instructions.
The Covid 19 epidemic will pass, soon we hope, gentle exercise giving mental and physical stimulation will enable us to be ready to get back to normal.
Meanwhile, take care and go easy on those old bones!!
Author: Roger Langley