Managing Arthritis through Exercise

This post was written by Anne R. Jan 24, 2018 in Fitness, Health & Wellness, Seniors
Lee Cameron

Just a few years ago, Lee Cameron couldn’t walk very far and needed to use a wheelchair to go shopping in the mall.  Her mobility was challenged due to arthritis in her knee and she was on the waitlist for knee replacement surgery.

Fast forward to today and Lee feels great walking multiple blocks and her knee pain is so reduced that her surgeon feels she no longer requires the surgery.  

What changed for Lee?  Well for the past three years she’s been spending 2 - 3 mornings per week at the Karen Magnussen pool taking part in Water Joints, Active with Arthritis and Tai Chi aquafit classes as well as spending time in the fitness centre exercising her knee on the bike.  She appreciates the very rhythmic movements of Tai Chi and the fact that she is continually flexing her knees and balancing on one leg.  She said, “Tai Chi is fun, and I’ve learned the movements so now I can practice it in the pool on my own. It’s really improved my balance and I find it very meditative and relaxing as well.”  Thanks to her buoyancy in the pool, she’s able to do exercises in the water that would be much more difficult to do on land.

Lee’s been so committed to her Tai Chi aquafit class that when it had low enrollment she helped recruit more participants at Karen Magnussen so the class could be offered again.

A fitness member since 2000, it hasn’t always been easy for Lee to make time for her fitness.  When her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2013, she became a full time caregiver and it was hard to get out to the pool and gym.  Sadly, her husband passed away and Lee knew she really needed to get out, meet more people and socialize.  She soon returned to Karen Magnussen and found renewed energy and enjoyment in her fitness classes.  Lee said, “My time at the pool is very precious to me.  I can relax and talk to others who have similar life experiences.  It’s very therapeutic and I’ve made good friends with the people there. It’s motivating knowing you’ll be seeing people you enjoy being with”.

What’s next for Lee?  Well, she plans to keep doing her aquafit classes and keeping her knees limber so she can continue to enjoy her active and rewarding life.

North Vancouver Recreation & Culture can help get you back in motion
Whether you're dealing with a chronic condition or recovering from an injury or surgery, NVRC is here to help enhance your strength, stamina, circulation, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.
You can find more information about our programs and services by visiting our Health Management and Rehabilitation webpage.


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