We are all facing the very real threats of Coronavirus and many of us are self-isolating now, especially the over 70s. Life as we knew it has completely evaporated. For anyone with osteoarthritis, there are plenty of things that you can do to help the condition and keep yourself generally healthy in the face of such a threat.
What better way to spend all our cooped up time than doing some exercise, at whatever level you can manage? It helps to have an exercise slot during your very long day so that you remember to do it and it gives you something positive to do.
If you have an exercise bike, now is the time to build up the muscles around the knee which protect arthritic joints and make legs stronger. Just 10 minutes a day can make your legs feel good and strengthen the knee area.
There are also specific exercises for osteoarthritis in the knees, hips and hands.
- For arthritic fingers: try some gentle stretching/splaying of the fingers, or make a fist with your hand and then completely relax it.
- For knees: sit well back in the chair with good posture. Straighten and raise one leg. Hold for a slow count up to 10, then slowly lower your leg. Similar exercises can be done lying down or standing. If you are unsteady on your feet hold on to a firm surface and do a few squats bending your knees so that they are over your feet, making sure you only do as much as you can.
- For hips: Hold onto a work surface and march slowly on the spot bringing your knees up towards your chest alternately. Don’t raise your thigh above 90 degrees. Also, holding on to a surface, bend each knee in turn, putting your heel up towards your bottom with the kneecap pointing towards the floor.
There are more diagrams (courtesy of Versus Arthritis) in One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis with helpful instructions.
So with all this time on our hands, do something helpful for your fitness, to keep your joints working well and avoid getting bored. Above all, stay safe.
Blog post written by Frances Ive, author of One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.