Exercises for joint problems can have many benefits and if you suffer with joint pain, exercising or adding stretching into your daily routine could be particularly helpful to reduce the symptoms.
Exercise not only helps to relieve these symptoms but could also reduce any unwanted weight and improve your mood. Though some people may think that exercise will aggravate joint pain and stiffness, that’s not the case. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles surrounding your joints strong is crucial to maintain support for your bones. Not exercising can weaken those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.
As well as improving your mood and fitness, exercise can also:
- Strengthen muscles around your joints
- Help you maintain bone strength
- Give you more energy
- Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
- Help you to control your weight
- Enhance your quality of life
- Improve your balance
Exercises for joint problems to help reduce the symptoms can include:
Not only can stretching improve flexibility, it can also reduce stiffness and increase the range of motion of your joints. Stretching daily can help to relieve joint pain and stiffness. A typical stretching routine may consist of:
Warming up by walking on the spot or pumping the arms while sitting or standing for 3 to 5 minutes. Holding each stretch for 10-20 seconds before releasing it. Repeating each stretch 2-3 time.
Walking is a low impact form of exercise that can help with aerobic conditioning, heart and joint health, and mood. It is sensible to walk slowly initially and then increase the pace when possible.
Tai Chi or Yoga
Both Tai Chi and yoga combine deep breathing flowing movements, gentle poses and mediation. They increase flexibility, balance and range of motion whilst also reducing stress.
Pilates is a low impact activity that stabilises the muscles around them. People new to Pilates should begin with a routine that uses a mat rather than a machine to build muscle safely.
Water helps to support body weight, which means that water exercises do not impact heavily on the joints. Swimming or water aerobics and other gentle water exercises can increase flexibility, range of motion, strength and aerobic conditioning. They can also reduce joint stiffness.
Riding a stationary bike can be a safe way to get the joints moving and improve cardiovascular fitness. In addition to improving aerobic conditioning, cycling can reduce stiffness, increase range of motion and leg strengthen and build endurance.
Strengthening the muscles around the affected joints can help to increase strength as well as reduce the symptoms that come with joint problems.
As well as being a form of exercise, gardening offers the benefit of improving your mood. People should be gentle with their body, work slowly and avoid overstraining the muscles and joints.
You might notice some pain after you exercise, if you haven’t been active for some time. In general, if you are sore for more than two hours after you exercise, you were probably exercising to strenuously. Trust your instincts and don’t exert more energy than you think your joints can take. Take it easy and slowly increase your exercise length and intensity as you progress.
Before starting a new exercise routine, it is best to consult your GP, or a fitness expert who will be able to offer advice on the best exercises for joint problems to meet your needs.