Exercise is important for all of us. Whether you are in perfect shape or have painful joints, it is important to tailor your workout routine to your body’s needs. Exercise is meant to nurture your body, not hurt your body. That said, if you have painful joints, don’t let this stop you from giving your body the workout it needs. In fact, regular exercise can help ease your pain. Research shows that regular exercise helps reduce inflammation and even increase pain tolerance. Here are some helpful exercise tips for optimal joint health.
Always Warm Up
Jumping on a machine immediately after entering the gym can be detrimental to your joints. You must first warm up your body to loosen your muscles and tendons. Working out when these are still tight is what can lead to joint pain. Your warm-up can be as simple as light movement for 5 minutes to get your blood flowing. Perhaps try an easy walk.
The more you move, the less stiff your joints will be. If you are looking to get your heart rate elevated but want a low-impact exercise option, try swimming, bicycling, rowing, exercising on an elliptical or even walking. These are the best options for protecting your joints.
In addition to these low-impact exercises, you might want to try practices like yoga and Pilates. These both help strengthen your ab and back muscles, which ultimately help maintain balance and lessen your likelihood of injury by falling.
Strengthen Your Muscles with Weights
Stronger muscles help to lessen strain on your joints. Add in some weight training to your exercise routine. Weight machines, free weights and resistance bands are all helpful in getting stronger and building muscle mass. You should take things slowly at the start. Always listen to your body. Try to incorporate weight training 2-3 times per week and alternate between upper body and lower body workouts.
Change Things Up
Overuse injuries are another culprit of joint pain. To avoid this, try not to do the exact same routine every day. Mix up your workouts. Perhaps you could try swimming one day and biking the next.
It is important to keep your muscles and tendons flexible. After your workout, make sure to stretch all of the muscles you used that day. You’ll want to try and hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.