Most people have started exercising less during COVID-19 quarantines. Physical activity is critical for avoiding pain from arthritis, so it’s important to find ways to stay active even while social distancing.
In this article, we’ll look at three simple yet effective stretches for people suffering from arthritis. Don’t forget to wear supportive footwear while stretching or working out in order to cushion your feet from excessive impact and reduce the risk of injury.
Arm raises build flexibility while reducing symptoms of arthritis. To perform an arm raise, start by bringing both arms up so that they’re straight out from your shoulders without pointing either up or down.
From there, simply move your arms from your sides to the front of your body while holding them straight. You can also reverse the exercises by starting with your arms in front before moving them to your sides, lowering them, and starting the next rep.
Like arm raises, wrist rolls can be performed from either a sitting or standing position. Just rotate both wrists in a circle—make sure to move slowly enough to stretch through the entire rotation. Repeat a few times in each direction to finish the stretch.
Ankle rolls work the same as wrist rolls, but you can only do one leg at a time. Make sure to use something to balance if you’re standing up. As with wrist rolls, you should try to roll each ankle a few times in each direction—this will help improve your range of motion and reduce joint pain.
While you can do a leg extension from anywhere, they’re most comfortable on a bed. Start with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor or bed while keeping your back flat against the surface.
From the starting position, bring one foot up as far as you can by relaxing the bend in your leg without completely locking your knee. Switch back and forth between legs and try to complete at least a few reps on each side before moving to the next exercise.
Stretching alone won’t cure your arthritis, but it can have a surprisingly strong effect on your symptoms and mobility. These are just a few easy ideas to get started with stretching—don’t be afraid to try new stretches or adjust your exercise routine depending on your results.