6 Easy Exercises to Ease Joint Pain
Do you have arthritis or another chronic illness that affects your joints?
If yes, you know what it’s like to live with constant pain. You probably also think that exercising is not in the cards for you.
However, that’s actually not true. In fact, exercise is extremely important for individuals with stiff, aching joints because regular exercise can help to build up the muscles that support the joints and can even improve mobility.
Of course, you’ll need to take a cautious approach so that you don’t do more harm than good, but there are some easy types of exercise you can consider to ease your joint pain.
Since yoga combines gentle stretching with meditation, it can be extremely beneficial for individuals with aching joints.
The slow, tempered stretching movements help to maintain mobility and the meditation can not only help reduce stress, it can actually boost immune function.
Make sure to stick to a low impact form of yoga, avoiding methods such as power yoga or hot yoga which can be more stressful to your system.
This is a great lower-level type of exercise which can help to strengthen support muscles and stabilize joints.
To demonstrate how pilates supports aching joints, consider the “shoulder bridge”. In this exercise, you lay on your back, bend your knees and place your arms alongside your body then exhale as you contract your abdominal muscles and lift your pelvis, hold the position for several seconds while inhaling, then lower your pelvis as you exhale slowly again.
These types of exercises are ideal for working muscles without putting excess stress on the joints.
3. Water exercise
One of the best ways to ease joint pain is with water exercise. Walking laps in low level water or using an underwater treadmill are great ways to get your muscles and joints working without causing excess impact.
Individuals with arthritis or other joint problems can also be helped by doing low impact water aerobics.
Bending, stretching and moving while supported by the natural buoyancy of the water is ideal for cushioning delicate joints while working the surrounding muscles.
One of the best exercises for almost everyone. Walking can help to improve your health in a number of ways. For those with arthritis, it can strengthen bones and muscles and ease joint pain.
A 30 minute, moderate-to-hard intensity walk three days a week is usually recommended for getting maximum benefit, but you can start slowly and work up to that. If you can’t get outside to walk, you can get similar benefits from walking on a treadmill with extra cushioning designed to reduce impact on the joints.
Popular brands like NordicTrack and Proform treadmills offer models with impact-reducing belts that make exercising easier on arthritic joints.
You don’t have to go full bore in order to work out muscles and joints. The important thing is to keep moving slowly and evenly. Stretching can even be done sitting down if you lack strength in your legs.
You can target specific joints such as the fingers and hands. For example, flex and release fingers, hands, arms, legs or feet making sure to keep your movements slow and measured.
The idea is to improve mobility and decrease pain, so if you experience more pain you should slow down and take things easier.
For individuals who want to get a slightly higher impact workout without the stress on joints caused by aerobics, cycling can be ideal.
This exercise particularly targets the feet and ankles and provides a great cardio workout while helping to strengthen the quads. As with any exercise you should start slowly, biking for as little as 10 minutes at a time until you gradually work up to the recommended 30 to 40 minutes two to three times a week.
As with walking, you can also reap the benefits of cycling even if you can’t get outside by using an exercise bike. Just make sure to select a model designed to lessen the impact on delicate joints.
These aren’t the only kind of exercises you can participate in to help ease joint pain. Low impact disciplines such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong are ideal for those with aching joints as they involve slow, easy movements, breathing techniques and stretching.
All of those qualities are extremely beneficial for the joints. You can even do low-level weightlifting, but you should consult your doctor first to ensure that you aren’t pushing your muscles and joints too hard.
Most doctors stress the importance of exercising for stiff and aching joints, as a lack of exercise can increase joints pain. Having joint pain doesn’t mean you should stop moving. You actually need to keep those joints moving in order to keep them healthy.
Consider our top six and other low impact exercises you can do to help strengthen muscles, improve mobility and reduce joint pain. With exercise, you can get back to living your life comfortably.