There are plenty of reasons to feel frustrated in life, but exercise shouldn’t be one of them. For those of us with joint issues, exercise can be a scary prospect…but it doesn’t have to be.
Your expert consultant should be able to advise on specific movements or activities to avoid, but there is so much that you can do, even if your body seems to be betraying you.
Here are our DOs and DON’Ts to keep your joints in check, and out of pain:
Take the stress off your joints by enjoying low impact workouts. Exercise bike, cross trainer and swimming are ideal ways to keep moving, without putting added pressure on your body. By being gentle on your joints, but still enjoying a great cardio workout, you’re certain to still feel the benefits.
Take it slow
Make sure you warm up your muscles and your joints – don’t just jump into your workouts, your body won’t thank you. Start off with gentle, slow movements, to get your body used to what it’ll be doing for the next 30-60 minutes.
If you feel pain, even whilst taking it slow, you might want to consider stopping, and speaking to a professional. This is also the case if you notice redness or swelling around your joints.
Try yoga or Tai Chi, to increase flexibility. Recently studies showed reductions in pain and disability in overweight people over the age of 50, who took one yoga class weekly, for eight weeks.
Ice, ice, baby!
After your workout, try and put ice on your joints. This will reduce any possible swelling.
If you’re doing high impact exercises during your workout, you are putting unnecessary extra pressure on your (already uncomfortable or injured) joints. This isn’t good for your body, as you may be in pain after – or during – your workout, and it’s certainly not good for your mental health, if you’re then unable to exercise due to the discomfort.
Stick to low impact workouts, which will still demand hard work from you, without leaving you unable to comfortably move for hours, days or weeks after.
Avoid using weights that are too heavy for you, and don’t flex or extend your joints to their maximum ability. Again, this puts a lot of pressure on your body, and may result in you experiencing pain throughout your muscles or body.
Work through the pain
If your body hurts, it’s trying to tell you something. If you think something isn’t right, you’re probably correct. Speak to a specialist about the pain, and see what they suggest in terms of exercises going forward.
As always, stay fit and healthy.
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