Whether you woke up sore from an intense workout the previous day or you’ve been suffering from arthritis for years, joint pain is a pretty constant part of life for many people. There are many things that can cause joint injuries, which can lead to stiffness and pain in your joints. It’s important to avoid anything that will push your joints too hard or incorrectly, but sometimes there’s no avoiding it.
If you wake up with achy joints, don’t despair! With a bit of exercise, you can make the pain disappear…
If your joints are achy, always make sure to start out with a good warmup. Apply a hot pack to any joints that are causing noticeable problems, and take your joints through a few simple stretches. Stretching before you get started working out is the key to preventing your joint pains from becoming worse.
Once you’ve stretched, do a warmup set of whatever exercise you’re doing that day. Do a set of 10 bench presses, using very little weight. Squat 5 or 10 times to give your legs a warm up, and run in place for 20 seconds to get the blood flowing. After you’ve warmed up the muscles, it’s time to get exercising.
Exercising Away the Joint Pains
If you’re exercising to get rid of your joint pains, you need to incorporate three different types of exercise:
- Range of motion exercises — These are exercises that will increase your range of motion, so basically they’re anything that involve a bit of stretching. Yoga is one of your best options for range of motion exercises, as it causes you to stretch, twist, bend, and flex a lot. You’ll find that using simple motions like rolling your shoulders, raising your arms high above your head, and twisting your hips can help to increase your range of motion as well. The important thing to remember is that you need to push your joints hard enough that they’ll become more flexible, but not so hard that you’ll injure them worse.
- Aerobic exercise –– Increasing blood flow in your body will help to reduce any swelling in your joints, and can help to repair joints that have been damaged. Mild aerobic exercise like slow cycling, walking, and jogging can help to get that blood flowing, but they may be a bit hard on your joints if you’ve got an injured knee, hip, or ankle. Try the elliptical machine, the rowing machine, or the recumbent bike if you’re worried about the joints of your lower body.
- Resistance training — If you want to reduce your joint problems, it’s wise to strengthen the muscles around the joints. Resistance training will help to strengthen your muscles, enabling them to protect the joints properly. Stick with exercises that are safe for your joints, and which don’t place undue pressure on them. You want to avoid exercises like leg extensions, preacher curls, standing rows, and others that could strain your joints.
The most important thing to remember when doing any kind of exercise for your joints is to take it easy. It’s best to avoid any kind of strain on your joints if you feel pain, so pay attention to the signals your body sends out.
If you feel like your exercise is going to cause the problem to get worse, stop exercising and take a break. If resistance training, aerobics, and Yoga are going to cause your pains to get worse, try walking. It’s one of the best forms of exercise you can do, and it’s very low impact. Whatever you do, keep up with your efforts to exercise, but scale back the intensity.