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Gentle Exercises that Relieve Joint Pain

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    Joints can ache for any number of reasons. Anything from arthritis, tendonitis, or even overuse can cause the joints to swell and ache. But did you know there are forms of exercise that can help reduce and prevent joint pain? Here are a few of the best exercises you can do before the pain becomes unbearable.

    Swimming

    Swimming is probably one of the friendliest exercises when it comes to joint pain. The consistency of the water acts as a shock absorber, which will limit the risk of injury and additional pain. Swimming allows you to exercise almost all of the major muscle groups which will increase your fitness level without stressing the joints. Mobility can be regained through various movements performed repeatedly in the water. For people with chronic joint conditions, exercising without pain may seem impossible, but water will help alleviate the pain. Swimming is recommended in particular for individuals exceeding a normal weight to height ratio.

    Bike Riding

    The knee joint often causes problems for exercises like dancing or running. Even the simple act of walking can cause pain in the knees for overweight and obese individuals. An excellent form of exercise which allows for recovery of the knee is bike riding. Although the knee joint does function during pedaling, a significant portion of your body weight is transferred to the ground via the saddle and wheels. The act of pedaling is often compared to hitting a hard surface (like when you are running), but there is a huge difference. Each push of the pedal gives a limited reaction back to the feet, so most of the energy is used to power the bike. The advantages of riding a bike are that it allows your legs to work while the knee joint receives no stress.

    Yoga

    Joint pain often comes with limited mobility and flexibility. Yoga classes are a great way to work gently within your range of motion and increase flexibility over time. Having a certified yoga instructor is important to help guide you through each pose with proper form. Unlike most sports, yoga is not all about the physical approach to your body. A mental approach is equally important for any activity, especially those that might be associated with the risk of injury. Being fully aware of your body’s capabilities and limits might be just the thing you need in order to avoid future joint-related injuries. Yoga is an excellent substitute for other types of exercises when you’re undergoing recovery from a joint problem, as it allows you to workout using only your body’s weight in static positions.

    Stretching

    Stretching may not be exercising per se, but many people consider it to be. Stretching acts as a clear message to your body that you are about to engage in an activity that will place a far greater burden on your joints, muscles, and bones. Stretching can target almost every muscle and joint in one’s body and there are many resources that make it accessible even for beginners. Never force yourself beyond your limits while stretching.

    Remember that joint recovery can be a slow process. Make sure to speak with your doctor before beginning any exercise program and keep them up to date on your progress.

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