Time to Get Moving!

My children played a game called you move, you lose. When someone got up from the “choice seat” in the car or at a party, or “Daddy’s cushy chair” in front of the TV, another child would quickly sit in the coveted seat. When the first child returned to find their favorite spot taken, the “offender” shouted, “You move, you lose!” 

As we age, we find just the opposite is true; if we don’t move, we lose. Sitting for long periods of time causes our muscles to weaken and our joints to ache. Usually our worst times are in the mornings just when we rise out of bed. One of the participants in the Chair Yoga exercise class shared her secret of flexibility: she stretches head to toes, including arms, legs, fingers, and neck before she even steps on the floor every morning and then gently exercises each joint for a few minutes before breakfast. She has done this for so long, it’s a habit and she couldn’t imagine starting her day without it. 

When a joint hurts, people tend to protect and not move that joint. In a study by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago: “more than 40 percent of those with rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, remain inactive; ‘We were surprised they were very inactive,” says the lead author Jungwha “Julia” Lee, PhD, assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine, ‘Regular, moderate physical activity offers a host of benefits. It helps reduce pain and improve well-being.’” 

The moving of muscles and joints does not require expensive exercise equipment, although the Oasis has many helpful pieces of exercise equipment to keep you moving. The Nu- Step is especially helpful with movement of the arms and legs without extra pressure on the joints. Kirby Pines offers exercise classes 5 days a week. These exercise classes will help you implement safe and helpful strengthening and stretching exercises. But just getting out of your apartment and walking the halls of Kirby Pines is a great beginning for moving and gaining flexibility, strength, and balance. Remember “You move, you lose.” Move those aching joints and lose some of that pain of arthritis and lose that attitude that there’s nothing you can do about it.