Having an injury or chronic health problem may seem to make exercise out of reach. In fact, exercise is even more important because it helps to relieve pain and improve mobility. Which kinds of workouts are best with bad joints, arthritis or knee injuries? Here are five to try.
Body weight exercises
These low impact exercises help to build cartilage (helpful for arthritis sufferers) and muscle around compromised joints. Examples include:
· Calf raises
· Step ups – use a wooden bench or head for the stairs.
· Partial squat – avoid bending too deeply as the strain on your joints will be too great.
Low impact exercise helps you burn calories and fat without placing undue stress on arthritic or otherwise compromised joints. Examples include:
· Walking – think walking for exercise and walking as a way to boost daily physical activity level. Resolve to be less sedentary. Get up from your chair or the couch and walk regularly all through the day.
· Swimming – the local pool isn’t just fun for campers. It is a great way for adults to get in some low impact exercise
· Cardio equipment – think elliptical machine or treadmill.
· Yoga – is gentle on joints and can help to improve flexibility.
Again, you want to build strength and boost cartilage in compromised joints. Strength training can help with this. The result is less pain overall. Good strength training exercises include:
· Knee extensions – you can start without ankle weights and add them as you build strength.
· Inner thigh leg lifts – place your ankle weight just above your knee for this move.
· Side lying leg lift – your ankle weight should also be placed above the knee.
Believe it or not cycling is a good exercise option even for people experiencing arthritis, knee trouble or joint pain. Pull out your helmet and head for the trail when weather permits. The stationary bike at your fitness center is also a good option.
Try something new and fun such as African or belly dancing class. You’ll learn some new moves, get your heart rate up and lubricate your joints. Even if you feel pain or stiffness at the outset, you will begin to feel better as you continue moving.
Exercise really offers great benefits for everyone, even those experiencing arthritis or knee pain. Just be careful not to place undue stress on the joints and be mindful of balance. Regular exercise will actually result in less overall pain and more restful nights. Any weight loss you experience is an extra bonus.