Chronic pain is classified as pain that lasts or persists for more than three to six months past the average healing time. According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, “chronic pain is a frequent condition, affecting an estimated 20% of people worldwide and accounting for 15% to 20% of physician visits.”
For many years, rest was always recommended for treating and managing chronic pain. However, research has shown that physical activity can help alleviate and reduce it.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, we encourage residents to lead fulfilling, engaging lifestyles. Our luxury senior living communities throughout Texas, including the San Antonio, Boerne, Round Rock, and Dallas areas, offer exceptional activities and community amenities to keep individuals physically and mentally stimulated. We understand the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, so we are sharing the types of exercises you can use for reducing your chronic pain.
Walking is a low-intensity aerobic exercise that is safe and effective for reducing chronic pain. This form of exercise increases your heart rate and circulation, providing your muscles with more oxygen. In doing so, it can help decrease muscle stiffness and pain.
Unlike higher intensity aerobic exercises such as running, walking is easier on your joints. It can also be a safer option for some older adults while still offering physical and mental health benefits.
An aerobic activity that is even easier on the joints is water aerobics. Similar to other aerobic exercises, swimming is a low-impact cardiovascular activity that keeps you moving and gets your heart rate up without putting added stress on your joints.
One of the benefits of Franklin Park® Senior Living is that some of our communities feature swimming pools and offer water aerobics fitness programs right on campus.
Even though stretching may not seem like an exercise, it is a good way to keep your body moving and can go a long way in managing chronic pain. Stretching exercises and programs, such as yoga, help relieve muscle tension and stiffness, keep your joints flexible, and can even improve your mobility and help you maintain your range of motion.
Building and maintaining strength is crucial for reducing chronic pain since it helps to stabilize the joints and can prevent future injuries. According to Healthline, “for people living with chronic pain, adequate core strength is especially important. It helps you maintain proper posture and balance and reduces the risk of injuries that could lead to more pain.”
Additionally, when you build and exercise your muscles, your body releases chemicals that block pain signals from being sent to your brain.
Using free weights, your own body weight, or doing resistance exercises are all options for strength training.
The Activities of Daily Living
Simply staying active can go a long way in helping you manage or reduce your chronic pain. If going to the pool or gym seems too intimidating or is not an option, performing household chores and routine activities such as laundry and cleaning tasks can help keep you moving.
Exercise does not have to be super high intensity to help you manage chronic pain. In fact, starting slow and listening to your body is the best way to get started. However, before you make any changes to your fitness routine, talk to your doctor. They will be able to advise you on the types of exercises and programs that would be the most beneficial for your health and wellness.
At Franklin Park® Senior Living, we are proud to offer fitness centers at each of our luxury communities in Texas. Residents can participate in guided fitness opportunities or pursue a unique, independent fitness program at their own pace using treadmills, recumbent bikes, and free weights. Our fitness centers make it easy to maintain or improve an active lifestyle and also offer a fun way to socialize with friends.
If you would like to learn more about what our luxury senior living communities throughout Texas have to offer, we invite you to visit our website or contact a member of our team.