Not only do people experience the traditional benefits of exercise such as weight control, increased energy, and enhanced quality of life, people with joint pain also experience increased flexibility and decreased pain as they strengthen the muscles around their joints. It’s a win-win!
The goal of these exercises is to relieve joint stiffness and increase your range of motion in your joints. Raising your arms over your head as well as rolling shoulders forwards and backward are easy exercises that can be done daily.
If you’re looking for a more structured routine, yoga and Thai chi are an excellent way to improve body awareness, flexibility, and range of motion in your joints. Increased coordination and balance are also a beneficial byproduct of yoga and Thai chi. Be sure and listen to your body during these exercises as you may need to modify some of the moves to accommodate your joint pain.
When you have stronger muscles, the better they support your joints. Pilates, for example, focuses on improving the control of your muscles. Low impact workouts such as pilates are excellent for easing pressure on hips and other joints. If you do want to pump some iron with strength training or weight training, start slowly and listen to your body. When starting, stick to weight machines, free weights, and resistance bands for best results.
Also known as “cardio”, aerobic exercises are any exercise that involves cardiovascular conditioning. This type of exercise increases endurance and helps with overall fitness including cardiovascular, weight, stamina, and energy. Ideally, you should work up to 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week.
Types of cardiovascular exercise include walking, bicycling, and swimming. Take a walk around your neighborhood, swim a few laps in your pool, or sign up for a water aerobic class at a local gym. All of these exercises are easy on sore joints, require no training, can be done almost anywhere, and are free to do.
Did we mention they are free?
A good joint workout doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal that takes a lot of time out of your schedule. You can get an effective workout by doing daily things around your house (that you’re probably already doing). Need to deep clean your house? Perfect! Have some work to do in the yard? Even better! These daily tasks incorporate activities like bending, stretching, and even some heavy lifting to get your joints in shape. You don’t have to go to great lengths to improve your joint health.
No matter how you choose to get your joints moving, the most important thing to keep in mind is to respect and protect your body. Go slow and move your body gently while keeping the impact low during your exercise. Listen to what your body is telling you and take care of injuries and issues as they arise. Applying heat to your joints for about twenty minutes before exercise and ice for about twenty minutes after exercise is an excellent way to stave off any potential injuries and soreness.
Now get out there and rock it!