I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 29. The cold months are the worst for me. Waking up with stiff joints in the morning makes me feel as if I’m learning to walk for the first time. These easy arthritis exercises for cold months limber up joints for the day ahead. I rarely get out of bed in the morning without doing these senior arthritis exercises, even though I don’t consider myself a senior. They are done in order from one to five.
1. The good morning stretch. This arthritis exercise for cold months, helps get your joints ready for the exercise of daily living. Upon awakening, lie flat on your back, extending arms and legs. Think of your arms as the North Pole and your legs as the South Pole. Stretch out as far as you can in both directions. Now stretch your fingers outward like fans. Repeat this motion several times. Point your toes toward you, then downward. Repeat this several times as well.
2. The leg pump. There are several senior arthritis exercises you can do while still in position for the good morning stretch. Now that you’re all warmed up, this easy arthritis exercise will help you practice your leg motions for the day. Raise both legs. Lower and raise them alternately, while bending at the knee. This will loosen up cold stiff knee joints to help you prepare for walking.
3. The bicycle. If you are limber enough, raise your hips slightly off the bed and do the bicycle. This is an exercise you may remember from your childhood. You simply pedal your legs as if you were riding a bike. It’s a very beneficial arthritis exercise for cold months. When you have arthritis, joints that remain cold and stationary overnight may refuse to work in the morning. For that reason, you should always do the good morning stretch and the leg pump before attempting the bicycle.
4. Clap and clench your hands. This may sound like a silly senior arthritis exercise, but it really does help both the back and hand muscles. In fact all these arthritis exercises for the cold months are great for everyone from toddlers to seniors. For this exercise, extend your arms outward, while still lying on your back. Clap your hands when they meet. Then cross your arms and stretch. Go back to the original position while clenching and unclenching your fists. Repeat several times until your back muscles and hand joints are warm.
5. Sit, stand and bend. For this last easy arthritis exercise, sit on the edge of the bed. Press on your toes, lifting heels from the ground, while remaining seated. Now place your heels back on the ground, stand and bend at the waist. Repeat this senior arthritis exercise until you are steady on your feet. You can zap stiff, sore morning joints by doing all five exercises daily before starting your day.