Arthritis is one of the key health conditions that affect senior citizens.
Decades of use and the aging process affect joint health. It can lead to pain and swelling if arthritis sets in. In turn, the pain may impact mobility and make it harder to get up and walk around.
How Does Age Affect Joint Health?
Healthy joints include cartilage and tissue called synovium that helps keep a joint lubricated. Aging reduces the amount of synovial fluid and cartilage can degrade. The bone may rub together and mineral deposits may start building on bones causing painful restricted motions. This is arthritis.
The Solution is Diet and Exercise
In an attempt to keep joints healthy, seniors need to watch their diet and get plenty of exercise. Exercise keeps muscles strong. It also helps with bone strength. These factors work together to help joints stay healthy for a longer amount of time.
Aerobic exercise is one of the most recommended when it comes to keeping joints from swelling. Options range from the dance exercise Zumba to bicycling. The aerobic exercise of choice needs to work the muscles and the cardiovascular system.
Diet is equally important. You want to maintain a healthy weight to reduce the impact on your joints. Whole grains like quinoa are a better choice than processed grains like white rice. Fresh fruits and vegetables are better than canned vegetables or fruit. Lean proteins and seafood are better than beef or processed meats.
While whole grains, fresh produce, and lean proteins are important, you shouldn’t overlook foods high in calcium and vitamin D. They can help keep bones strong. Low-fat milk and yogurt, some fortified fruit juices, and breakfast cereals are all easy ways to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
Tips for Making Sure Exercise is on Your Mom and Dad’s Daily To-Do List
When your parent is older, exercise may not seem as vital. Make sure your parent gets up and goes for a walk, a bike ride, or joins a fitness class. If joint pain is present, swimming is a great exercise that is easy on the joints. Elderly care services can help your parent stay on track with exercise goals by providing rides to gyms, pools, or fitness classes.
Caregivers can also help your parent get enough exercise at home. With a caregiver on hand to join your mom or dad for daily walks, exercise goals are easily met. Learn more about companionship and other elderly care services by calling an agency.