Have aching joints but want to stay active?

Aching Joints?  Here are great ways for you to stay in shape and out of pain!

Joint pain can be annoying and can often limit your physical activity, but there are many exercises and workout programs that accommodate those who have joint pains. A low impact exercise program is your best friend. Low impact exercises go easy on the joints (knees, hips, elbows) while providing a great workout. One thing to note is that low impact does not mean low intensity. Impact refers to the force your body exerts in a particular exercise while intensity refers to the level of difficulty. Any exercise program you choose must tackle the following categories in order to get the maximum benefit of working out.

Flexibility

Flexibility is achieved through stretching. Stretching can help to improve athletic exercises and can also help to reduce to risk of activity based injury. It also can help to improve range of motion in the joints causing your muscles to work more effectively. Simple stretching of the leg and arm muscles before and after exercise is a great way to improve flexibility. Or better yet – join a yoga class which incorporates stretching and strength training. We at AVLC recommend Bikram Yoga.

Cardiovascular Exercise

This is extremely important as it improves heart health and increases your metabolism. Persons suffering from joint pains should opt for low impact cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, biking, water aerobics, pilates, or yoga. Exercises machines like the elliptical, stairmaster are some other great options. These will all provide a great workout while preserving your joints.

Strength Training

The benefits of strength training are endless and everyone should include this in their exercise program. It does wonders to build muscle mass, increases balance and stability, increases calorie burn, decreases the risk of osteoporosis and decreases blood pressure. Low impact strength training can be done with light weights, medicine balls, resistance bands or even your body weight e.g. squats, lunges, shoulder press, abdominals. Pilates and yoga are also a great option as they improve flexibility and increase heart rate, and also strengthen the muscles.

In order to burn maximum calories you should opt for a low impact, high intensity exercise program which will increase your heart rate and allow you to burn calories while putting limited pressure on your joints.

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