Did you know that physical activity can benefit the body in more ways than simply staying fit? Not only can exercise help you to look and feel good; it can also help to improve your joints. Joints need exercise, as they give the body its ability to move. Movement throughout exercise helps to lubricate the joints, ultimately reducing pain and swelling in damaged areas.
Stiff joints can make minor movements seem impossible. Low-impact activities, like beginner’s yoga, can help to improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles around the joints. Every pose performed can be adapted to fit your needs and help reduce pain in damaged joints.
Less stress is put on your knees, hips and ankles during low-impact exercises like swimming, walking and cycling. Swimming offers a number of benefits to your body, including strengthening the shoulders and improving lung function. Walking is one of the most popular low-impact ways to exercise, and is easy to fit into your schedule. Cycling helps work the lower body without straining the joints too much. However, be sure to use a properly fitted bike to lower your risk of strain on the joints.
The good news is that these exercises can be easily adapted to your daily routine. You can improve your joints by choosing to walk or cycle to work instead of driving or taking public transportation. Minor changes like these will help keep your joints healthier than before.
Muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercises can help strengthen your connective tissues, the ligaments and tendons that mobilize the joints. The more that the connective tissues are put to use, the less likely a joint-related injury will occur. With regular exercise, your joints will be able to go through their full range of mobility without damage. Bodyweight squats are great for protecting the knees, ankles and hips, and push-ups can help protect your shoulders and elbows. By taking a few minutes each day to strengthen your muscles, you can keep your joints healthy and strong.
This article was adapted from Schiff Vitamins. Read more here.
If you have any questions about exercise for improving your joints, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.