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Ease arthritis and stiff joints: How staying active this winter can help

exerciseDoes your arthritis bother you more when the temperature drops? You’re not alone: Stiff joints and cold weather can go hand-in-hand unless you make a move – a move to exercise, that is.

“Being inactive makes the stiffness and pain of arthritis worse,” says Susan Kille, MS, PT, clinical educator for Mercy LIFE. “But the good news is that just about everybody can do some form of exercise, even in winter. And that can really help to keep joints moving more smoothly.”

According to Kille, exercise can be as simple as walking back and forth in your hallway at home. Physical therapists also offer gentle chair exercises at the Mercy LIFE day centers. Therapists at the centers even give seniors take-home exercise instructions so Mercy LIFE participants can exercise independently and safely when they are not at the center.

If you haven’t been physically active and want to start exercising, it’s important to see your doctor first for a check-up, advises Kille.

“Then start slow and go from there,” she advises. “Be consistent, and you will see a difference.”

EASE INTO EXERCISE To learn more about how Mercy LIFE rehabilitation therapists keep older adults active and healthy, visit mercylife.org or call 215.339.4747.

Mercy Health System has doctors and programs that can benefit your health. Find a Doctor on our website or call 1.877.GO MERCY to learn more.

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