As we age our bone loss often accelerates, causing a change on our bone density and mobility. What once was a nice run around the neighborhood is now a more painful and slower jog. If you are feeling less flexible and have sore joints after workouts – fear not. You can still stay active while putting less pressure on your joints. These seven activities can help you stay active, without as much pain.
Swimming is a great low-impact and joint-happy activity. Not only does swimming help engage almost all your body parts, but the water gives you buoyancy, so you’ll float through your exercise session without putting pressure on your joints. Swimming is a lifelong sport and the Cleveland Clinic mentions that people who swim regularly have lower heart rates, better blood pressure, improved breathing and overall improved circulation.
2. Water aerobics
Much like swimming, water aerobics are also a great type or exercise to give your joints a rest. Water aerobics uses the resistance of the water (or added weights) to activate your muscles. Say goodbye to sweaty and hot gym rooms − working out in a pool will keep you cool and allow you to exercise longer. The added comradery of a class where others are doing the exercise with you may also be beneficial and add more people to your social circle.
Walking is a great and easy way to exercise without going overboard on your joints. You can walk around your neighborhood, at a local park or trail, on a track, on a treadmill or around a city. This allows you to get exercise and explore new parts of your community. If you are looking for even more cushion and comfort for your feet, walk on surfaces like grass or a dirt path, these are much easier on your knees, back and joints because your feet can sink into the ground a bit more.
You don’t have to know a routine from “Dancing with the Stars” to get your workout in. Dancing is simply about moving your body in a way that feels right to you. There is no “correct” way to dance – and sometimes that is exactly what you need. Some studies have found that movement and dance can help us release trauma. So put on your favorite music and get moving.
5. Low impact cardio machines
There a more options than the treadmill when you enter the gym. Try out any of the following machines to get a great workout with low impact to your body:
- Elliptical machines – Try doing intervals with higher and lower resistance while keeping great posture.
- Rowing machines – Many people think of rowing as only an upper body working, but your legs and glutes are doing most of the work here! The nice thing about rowing is that you are the master of your own destiny! You control the movement and pace making this a great exercise for any fitness level.
- Recumbent exercise bike – A recumbent bike is a great workout to give your joints a break. It takes less effort to balance and move the pedals – while keeping your back and knees in a more relaxing position. Not to mention, the seat is much more comfortable than your average bike.
You don’t have to be flexible to practice yoga – you become flexible by practicing yoga! Yoga is a great way to introduce more mindfulness and balance into your life. Not only will you gain flexibility, but it can also help decrease blood pressure, improve mood, build strength and force mindfulness into your life. There are several types of yoga that focus on different aspects (like breathing, stretching, relaxing and meditation). The nice thing about yoga is you can see your progress in flexibility and by holding new poses.
7. Rest and recharge
This is a very important part of joint health management. Like in any workout, pay attention to your body – you know it better than anyone else. So if you are in pain or hurting it is okay and important to take days and time off to rest and recharge. As always, please contact your PCP with any concerns or call 911 in an emergency.
These tips are sure to make your joints and your body much happier than other high intensity workouts or activities. By caring for our joints, body and bones we will live a happier and more pain-free life. So now you can get out there and get moving. Happy exercising!