Many people with joint aches avoid exercise because they believe it will only exacerbate their discomfort. The truth is if you have sore joints, you don’t have to completely swear off exercise.
While high-impact movements like running or deep squats can put unwanted strain on your knees, low-impact exercises can actually help strengthen the joints and increase flexibility. Improve your joint health and stay in shape with these low-impact activities.
Walking is a terrific way to stay healthy and fit, without straining your knees and joints. The great thing about walking is it’s free of charge, can be done anywhere, and can be modified based on your fitness level. You can up the intensity by increasing your speed, adding weights, or walking on an incline.
Whether you’re walking outdoors or on the treadmill, make sure to wear comfortable, supportive shoes to minimize the impact of your steps. When walking outdoors, use a walking stick for extra support, balance, and mobility.
Swimming is a great exercise, especially if you have bad joints. The buoyancy of the water takes the pressure and weight off your joints, allowing you to enjoy a vigorous swim and burn calories without the post-workout soreness. Many gyms and community centers have heated pools where you can swim year-round.
In addition to swimming laps, try water aerobics. Water aerobics is a type of resistance training that combines strength training moves with calorie-burning cardio. You can twist, turn, and jump in the water, without hurting your joints or causing discomfort.
Yoga has a wide range of health benefits and is kind to your joints. Gentle yoga poses and stretches can help boost strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as induce relaxation and improve mental clarity.
These are four low-impact exercises to incorporate into your weekly routine. With these workouts, you can improve your overall health and fitness, while protecting your joints.