Staying Fit With Exercises That Are Gentle On The Joints

yoga exercise

Fitness routines strengthen the muscles around your joints and help boost bone strength. It gives you more energy in the day because it builds your endurance as your body releases hormones that help you stay on the go. Not only would you feel better about yourself but a workout program improves your sense of well-being.

As you age, your body tends to slow down and you may experience joint pains. Whether these are in your hands, knees, or back, there are ways to ease the pain and keep your joints strong. One misconception often made is that exercising will aggravate your joint pain and stiffness. On the contrary, you need to keep the muscles and the surrounding tissue strong to maintain support for your bones so exercise is still a must.

“If it feels good to just walk in the water, then by all means go ahead, but do not push through your rheumatoid arthritis pain,” Danielle Anderson, a personal and adaptive trainer at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois, said. For those with arthritis and other joint pains, low-impact workouts, strength training, and stretching can help prevent stiffness. These fitness programs don’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can do some workouts at home! Here are some exercises you can do that are gentle on the joints.

YOGA

When most people hear the word “yoga”, the first thing that usually comes to mind is flexibility. But did you know that almost everyone could benefit from this relaxing workout program?

Yoga promotes a healthy immune system by utilizing deep relaxation techniques [TWEET THIS!]. During the workout, you execute breathing exercises that clear your mind, pushing you to focus on the workout and what you’re doing rather than stressing over something in the outside world. These relaxing techniques also help with reducing joint inflammation.

The age-old fitness routine also incorporates gentle stretching which is great for mobility and movement. Roger Rothenberg, a certified yoga specialist of Essential Yoga Therapy in Fall City, Washington, cautions to avoid the more intense forms of yoga such as power yoga, hot yoga, and Vinyasa Yoga for these increase body heat and put excessive pressure on joints.

WALKING

An exercise as simple as walking can do wonders for joint problems. Not only is it freeing and something that you can do almost anywhere at any time but it is also easy on the joints. The simple act of walking is for just about everyone unless it is too painful to walk.

According to Craig Hensly, PT, DPT, OCS, a physical therapist at the University of Chicago, walking is not only good for people with rheumatoid arthritis but it is also great for your heart’s health. It helps with bone-strengthening and stands as an aerobic activity that allows you to build endurance the longer you walk.

The American College of Sports and Medicine suggest walking at a moderate-to-hard intensity level for three to five days a week. Remember not to push yourself too hard early on! Pace yourself by walking for 10 minutes at a time then slowly work your way up to a 30-minute walking routine. In addition, walking is especially important for people with rheumatoid arthritis because of the higher risk of heart diseases.

walking exercise

SWIMMING

Water workouts could be just as beneficial as the fitness routines you would normally do on land [TWEET THIS!]. You can get the aerobics fitness, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility you need. Water offers resistance thus increasing your effort and strengthening your muscles as you push against it.

When you’re submerged in water, the buoyancy supports your weight thus lifting the stress off your weight-bearing joints. Working out in the water can even increase your cardiovascular health since it may increase your circulation, according to Darcy Reber, D.N.P., a family medicine provider at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls.

Simple workouts such as walking and stretching would help relieve joint pains. The pressure of the water can also reduce the swelling of painful injuries. Water fitness plans enables you to reach your goals without pain and injury. It adds a variety to your existing routine and offers a fun way to workout.

Take it a step further by swimming laps in the pool. According to Hareth Madhoun, DO, a rheumatologist at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, swimming, along with other types of aerobic exercise, helps control weight, boosts mood, improves sleep, and shows to be good for one’s overall health.

CYCLING

The beauty about cycling is that it gives riders the speed and freedom atop a saddle and two wheels. It can provide the exhilarating feeling of taking in the beautiful surroundings, making your exercise routine more enjoyable. Especially for people with bad knees, cycling is a preferable exercise for it strengthens the knee muscles without stressing the joint. Furthermore, the training results in better knee stability and reduces chances of injuries. “Particularly for people with arthritis, the smoother motion of cycling minimizes the jolting of traditional jogging,” Brian LaMoreaux, MD, a rheumatologist at Wexner Medical Center, said.

However, remember that the type of the road on which you bike on could do more harm than good. Cycle your way on flat and smooth roads rather than those that are rocky and steep upwards. This will reduce the stress and pressure on your knees.

Invest in a bike that suits your needs and is something that you are comfortable riding on. Many bikes are designed for racing which favors speed and sacrifices comfort. Remember to try different bicycles first before settling on one that you think will best help you with your knee.

Although taking on workouts to build muscle is good, remember to check with your doctor first. The type of exercises you must take depends on which joints are involved. Having a doctor or a physical therapist work with you to find the best routine will result in high rewards with the least aggravation to your joints [TWEET THIS!].

When your joints are inflamed, take a day off from your usual routine. “It’s your body’s way of telling you to stop,” Anderson reminds. You might notice some pain after you exercise so always consult with your doctor about what pains are normal and what are signs of something more serious.

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