For people with arthritis, everyday actions such as opening a door or writing a list can be a painful struggle. Several simple exercises done a few times a week can soothe artritis symptoms. Check with your health care provider to see if the following exercises are right for you.
Thumb touch: Keeping your movements slow and smooth, touch each fingertip to your thumb, starting with the index finger and moving toward the pinkie. This movement helps to increase the range of motion in thumbs, making it easier to pick up small objects such as a toothbrush or spoon.
Wrist workout: Stretch your arm in front of you. Bend your wrist backward, then forward. Next, stretch your wrist the other direction by turning your palm to the ceiling, then back to face the floor.
Strength squeeze: Improve your grip by squeezing a soft ball in your palm as hard as you can. Hold for a few seconds, then release. For stronger pinching power, grip the ball between your thumb and your fingertips and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Do both of these exercises two or three times a week, resting your hands for 48 hours between sessions.
Information comes from Illustratus.com

Tidbits of Knowledge

Friends from Illustratus.com share December tips.

Make Time for Friends: Take a cue from the song “Auld Lang Syne,” and make time to catch up with an old friend. It will not only boost your mood, but also your health. Having regular contact with a wide circle of friends has been proven to help people live longer, happier lives.

Read for Relief: If holiday happenings bring on anxiety, get some relief by reading. A British study found that spending just six minutes with a good book can lower stress by 68 percent.

Gift of Praise: One of the best gifts you can give takes little time and costs no money: a sincere compliment. Praising someone will make them feel great and give you a lift, as well.

Peppermint Pick-me-up: Whether in candy canes, lotion or tea, peppermint is popular this time of year. Use it to give yourself an instant pick-me-up. The scent stimulates blood flow to the brain, which increases alertness.

A snack for sleep: Having trouble sleeping and tired of counting sheep? Try a banana for a nighttime snack. The fruit contains tryptophan, which can make you drowsy. Bananas are also rich in the minerals magnesium and potassium, which help relax
your muscles.

Do something new: As a new year approaches, vow to try something out of the ordinary every week. Whether it’s a new activity, friend, food or simply learning a new word, bringing something different into your world can enhance brain health and enrich your life.