4 Activities Good for Joint Health

Joint HealthIf you have joint health issues, any activity can be painful and difficult. Movement is absolutely critical for mobility and comfort. For those who suffer with joint problems, low-impact activities are the best way to minimize the chance for injury while still getting the benefits of exercise.

Walking

Jogging and running are very hard on your joints, specifically your knees, back, hips and feet. Walking is gentler on your body than any of these activities, and still gets fluid moving through your joints. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes that are well-fitting and supportive.

Yoga

Without a doubt, yoga is one of the best exercises for a joint pain sufferer. Gentle stretching and controlled movements enhance flexibility, build muscle strength, improve joint comfort and help build better balance. For older adults this may help prevent dangerous falls. Yoga also reduces stress through breathing and meditation. Many yoga poses are done from a standing position, though some are performed on the floor.

Pilates

Pilates and yoga share many similarities in that they focus on strengthening the muscles through very specific movement. Pilates specifically seeks to generate motion from the core of your body. Most of the exercises are performed while laying down on the back, side or stomach. This makes pilates ideal for joint health since there is nearly zero impact on joints. Pilates has significant cardiovascular benefits as well.

Swimming

Exercise in water has the benefit of removing gravity, a hindrance during exercise. Aquatic exercise lets you stretch farther and build strength without hurting your joints. Swimming in particular is an amazing cardiovascular activity that develops muscles. This is an important factor for those with joint health issues, since stronger muscles mean less joint stress. An added benefit to swimming is that water provides gentle compression that helps reduce swelling and pain.

Exercise and activity are important tools that will help you remain mobile, while decreasing your pain. The key is to find activities that you enjoy and that won’t cause damage to your joint health. Ask your orthopedic specialist for more ideas on how to stay active!

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