Get Limber! Best Stretches for Arthritis and StiffnessAugust 16, 2019
As we get older, our bodies naturally start to feel less limber. Less flexibility and mobility can make us feel stiff and experience more pain—especially if we’re suffering from arthritis.
Did you know that greater flexibility and mobility can actually help to reduce pain? No matter what our age, getting limber has many benefits, from improved circulation, better range of motion, reduced pain, and a boost in mood and relaxation!
In this edition of the True Blue blog, let’s take a look at a few of our favorite stretches!
Help keep your shoulders flexible. Start with your right arm and pull it across your body. You will want to feel a stretch in your shoulder blade. Then, repeat with your left arm. This is a great stretch to do in the morning or throughout the day, preventing stiffness.
Stand and put your hands on your hips. Then, rotate your hips clockwise and then counterclockwise. Keep your core tight and your shoulders still. You’ll feel like you’re hula-hooping, but without the hoop! This is a great exercise for keeping your hips limber and flexible.
Bikram-Style Half Moon Pose
We love this shoulder and torso-stretching pose from the Bikram Yoga® series. Stand with your feet together and parallel. Lift your arms above your head and interlock your fingers.
Stretch up from your waist and bend to the right, and then repeat on the left side. You can view full instructions (+ visual demo!) from ClassPass here; this is a great stretch for easing shoulder pain and improving posture.
For more visual learners, you can also check out this video for additional instruction on how to properly do the Bikram-Style Half Moon Pose: Bikram Yoga Tutorial.
If this one feels too physically demanding, you can also try shoulder rolls! These can be done while seated, too. Roll your shoulders in both directions—front and back. This is a great and gentle way to lower stress and muscular tension.
For this stretch, you can start by sitting in a chair (or standing, if you prefer!). You can look to the right as far as you comfortably can and hold for about 5 seconds, and then repeat on the left. For additional neck stretches, take a look at these stretches and tutorials from Eldergym; they offer up great tips!
In addition to these stretches, there are many different types of stretches you can try! Great stretches to look into include ankle rolls, calf stretches, and heel-to-toe walking. We love this list from Virtua.
In addition to a regular stretching routine, we also suggest incorporating balancing exercises into your exercise program. Some great balancing-building exercise include Tai Chi. Check out our blog on the ways balance exercises will help you!
As always, you may want to check in with your medical practioner before integrating new exercise or health routines. For more wellness tips, explore the wellness section of our True Blue blog, and be sure to check out our favorite summer smoothie recipes. Happy stretching!
Back to Community Life