When aching joints cause you pain, exercise may not seem very appealing. But in fact, though you might feel some pain in your joints when you move, avoiding movement can lead to more problems, including increased pain. Exercise is one of the most recommended treatments to relieve joint pain. An article from Harvard Health Publications even called exercise “the secret to joint pain relief.”
The best exercises for joint health are exercises that are low-impact. So what is the best exercise for you? The best exercise for you is the exercise that you will actually do. If you force yourself to do exercises that you don’t enjoy, you may end up avoiding exercise altogether. It’s best to find a type of low-impact exercise that you personally enjoy, so that you can look forward to your daily exercise instead of dreading it.
If you are trying to find the low-impact exercise that is right for you, or if you just want to try something new, here are some exercises to try. Please note that these exercises are all relatively low-impact, but it is still a good idea to consult with your doctor or physical therapist before trying a new exercise routine.
Strength Training – Strength training, including lifting weights and resistance training, is excellent for reducing pain, increasing strength, and losing weight, which can help alleviate symptoms of joint pain for some. If you’re not sure how to get started, a physical therapist or personal trainer can guide you. Always warm up and stretch before you work out.
Swimming – Swimming is frequently recommended as one of the best exercises for people with joint pain because it is very low-impact. The water supports you as you move, putting less pressure on your joints.
Yoga – If you are new to yoga, you can try a beginner’s class or a one-on-one lesson with an encouraging teacher. While there are also some great yoga videos and other resources online, working with a teacher in person can be beneficial because you can talk to your teacher about your joint pain. Your teacher will be able to help you modify the yoga poses so that they don’t exacerbate your pain. Yoga can help you build strength and flexibility, so it is great for joint health.
Elliptical Machine – If you like to work on your fitness at the gym, elliptical machines let you get a good cardio workout with less impact than running on a treadmill.
Biking – People get into biking for various reasons. When you ride a bike, you can cover a lot more ground than in any other exercise, so it’s a great choice if you live in an area close to good biking trails that take you through beautiful scenic areas. It also meets the main requirement for people dealing with joint pain—biking is low-impact.
Walking – You may not think of walking as exercise, since it’s something most of us do every day, but it is! You don’t need any special equipment or even exercise clothes to go walking. All you need is walking shoes with good arch support and you can be on your way.
Which exercise are you going to try this summer?