February 26, 2014 // 10:57 AM

Low Impact Exercises for Arthritis Sufferers

Written by Scott Miller

Tai Chi Classes Are Popular with Garden Spot Village Residents

Those living with Arthritis can attest to the fact that sometimes working out can be more painful than beneficial. However, doing low-impact exercises will actually help relieve Arthritis pain. At Garden Spot Village, we offer a vast variety of low impact workout classes, but one of our most popular classes is Tai Chi. Tai Chi garners a “bless you” from one of our class participants who thinks the name sounds more like a sneeze than and actual workout, but it is actually one of the best forms of exercise for those living with Arthritis. The exercises can be done standing or in a chair and consist of slow, fluid, movements while focusing on breathing. Here are a few low impact workouts you can do at home. No equipment needed!

1. The styles of Tai Chi are named after animals, with the styles mirroring the natural movements of those animals. Our first suggested exercise is based off the tiger form (see right). Begin with your fingers straight, slowly curl them back until they look like the picture above, hold this position for a few seconds then extend the fingers until they are straight again. The whole motion is very similar to a cat kneading an area before lying down.

2. The second exercise is called “The Three Cs”. Start with your arms in front of you with your elbows slightly bent and hands soft. Bring your hands in towards your body and rounding the hands. Drop the hands down and then push back out to make a “C” shape. Slowly lift your hands back up to the starting position. This is a slow and fluid movement, breathe in as you bring your hands into your body, and breathe out as you push them away.

3. Our last recommended exercise is the Tai Chi walk. Again this is a slow and fluid movement. Start with your weight evenly distributed between both legs. Lift your right knee up as high as is comfortable pointing your toes to the floor. As you bring your leg up shift your weight to your standing foot. Drop the lifted leg down to the floor, with the heel making first contact. Slowly roll your foot down so the side touches the ground next and the toes touching last. Repeat the movement with your left leg and so on.

Receive added benefits from your Tai Chi workouts by doing them in a swimming pool. Heated pools, like the one at Garden Spot Village make movements easier for those with Arthritis. The water causes you to be more buoyant, taking weight and pressure off of your joints.

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