According to the CDC, about 53 million adults in the United States currently have arthritis. While this painful (and even debilitating) illness can impact anyone, almost 50 percent of Americans with diagnosable arthritis are seniors over age 65. 

Chronic stiffness, inflammation, or general body aches can restrict mobility and affect daily life. However, incorporating a few accessible, low-impact exercises into your wellness routine could actually alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. These five stretching exercises for arthritis can potentially increase your joint strength, flexibility, and range of motion:

Water Aerobics

Aquatic exercises are ideal for soothing arthritis pain since water reduces the force of gravity compression on your joints. This exercise can ease inflammation, boost circulation, and exert gentle resistance to strengthen your muscles. A water aerobics workout incorporates fluid, total-body movements to relieve joint stiffness and restore mobility without causing undue strain. If there aren’t any water aerobics classes in your area, swimming laps for about 30 minutes, two or three times per week, is another effective way to reap those aquatic benefits.


This ancient practice is one of the most restorative, enjoyable stretching exercises for arthritis. Yoga combines low-impact movements, balancing poses, and meditation techniques to build joint flexibility while enhancing mental and physical wellness.

You can also adapt this exercise to discomfort or mobility restrictions (there’s even a chair yoga variation if standing feels too painful). Focus on moving with slow, controlled intention and postural alignment to get the most out of a yoga practice.   


If you can access a bike, cycling could also help manage chronic aches and pains. Cycling is a beneficial cardiovascular workout and an impactful stretching exercise for arthritis. Whether you prefer to ride on a bike path outside or on a stationary indoor machine, the smooth, rhythmic pedaling motion will increase mobility in the knees, hips, and ankles. Research has found that osteoarthritis patients who cycled for six weeks reported much less discomfort, more functionality, and an overall better quality of life.  

Tai Chi

This gentle, peaceful martial arts technique originated in China thousands of years ago but is still just as effective today. Tai Chi connects flowing movements with mindful awareness and conscious breathing. This exercise is well-suited for those with arthritis because it will improve balance, coordination, strength, posture, and flexibility without stressing the joints. A recent study showed that Tai Chi can also decrease the risk of falling for adults over age 60. 


Finally, don’t overlook the incredible benefits of walking—both for arthritis pain management and wellness maintenance. This exercise is one of the simplest, most convenient ways to promote range of motion and create an active lifestyle. Don’t be afraid of easing into a routine. Arthritic joints need time to adjust—start at a slow, leisurely cadence for 10–15 minutes, then gradually increase the duration and pace as you cultivate endurance. Wear comfortable shoes and pay attention to how your joints feel to prevent strain or overexertion.

Exercise Your Way to Arthritis Pain Relief  

Just because you deal with the challenges of arthritis does not mean you can’t still experience the health benefits—and sheer enjoyment—of physical activities. These stretching exercises for arthritis could take you from chronic pain and mobility restriction to pain relief and freedom of movement. At Vineyard Senior Living, we love to create opportunities and activities that help you achieve your wellness goals, whatever that looks like. To learn more about our amenities and programs, connect with a community near you to speak with a staff member.