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Arthritis-Friendly Exercises for Seniors

Arthritis-Friendly Exercises for Seniors

Arthritis leads to stiff and sore joints, making movement painful and impacting anything from your fingers to your toes. While it seems sensible to rest and decrease your activity levels, increasing your physical activity is crucial for managing symptoms. Engaging in exercise helps maintain joint flexibility and strengthens the muscles around the joints, as long as you don’t overexert yourself. 

It’s important to listen to your body and recognize your limits, but aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Begin with gentle activities and gradually increase the intensity as your body adapts and you start to experience the benefits. Remember, even a few minutes of daily exercise is better than none.

Talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise program would be best for you, but here are a few arthritis-friendly activities to consider:


One of the greatest advantages of walking is that it doesn’t require any special equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Whether you take a few laps around your neighborhood, stroll through the park, wander around the mall, or use a treadmill, there are plenty of options. Aim to maintain a brisk pace that elevates your heart rate and keeps your joints active.


Immersing yourself in warm water soothes your joints and makes it easier for them to move. Water’s resistance naturally helps build muscle strength without excessive strain. Plus, the buoyancy provided by water supports your body, making it easier to stay afloat. For a more structured routine, consider joining a water aerobics class or simply enjoy solo pool exercises.


Cycling, whether on a traditional or stationary bike, is joint-friendly. Customize the bike by adjusting the gear or resistance to a comfortable level and setting the seat height so your legs can extend as much as possible. Varying the intensity of your rides can keep the activity engaging and maximize health benefits.


Yoga is beneficial for developing strength, flexibility, and balance. The movements are deliberate and controlled, seamlessly transitioning from one pose to the next. You can adapt the poses to suit your abilities and accommodate any limitations due to arthritis. As you progress in your practice, you can gradually introduce more poses to your routine.


Whether performed seated or standing, these stretches can target various muscle groups. They serve as an excellent warm-up for other activities or can be done intermittently throughout the day to alleviate joint stiffness.

Strength Training

Incorporate light weights into your daily exercise routines to enhance resistance. This approach helps build and tone muscles and improves balance and joint stability. Household items like water bottles or canned goods can be adequate substitutes if you don’t have traditional weights available.


Gardening activities such as pulling weeds, digging holes, planting seeds, and watering involve diverse movements that can enhance your range of motion and gently stretch your joints and muscles without overstraining them. Additionally, this activity rewards enjoying beautiful flowers or savoring the fresh taste of home-grown vegetables and herbs.

Here are just a few arthritis-friendly activities to consider adding to your lifestyle. You can also explore options like Pilates, dance, tai chi, or group exercise classes. The key is to find activities that you enjoy, and that effectively help manage your arthritis symptoms.

Physical activity is just one part of managing and living with arthritis. Working with an in-home caregiver can provide you with support throughout other aspects of your life, enabling you to age in place more safely and comfortably. Contact Always Best Care Baton Rouge at +1 225-513-8656 to learn more and schedule your free consultation.

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