Exercise has been shown to lessen the effects of joint pain and stiffness significantly. Contrary to popular belief, resting your joints can worsen the overall pain and stiffness. Joint pain can significantly decrease your quality of life by creating stiffness and postural imbalances. It is essential to find a balanced exercise program that supports all aspects of healthy joints. Your exercise program should include low impact motion to increase the synovial fluid, providing a cushion for your joints. Flexibility exercises to improve your alignment and decrease the strain on your joints. Strengthening exercise to strengthen your muscles to support your joints. Balance exercises to improve your core strength and posture to reduce the gravitational pull on your joints. Physical therapy is a great way to start your exercise program safely and efficiently. Physical therapy is a great first step to building the foundation needed to prepare you for a lifelong commitment to exercise and improved day to day function. The key to exercising with joint pain is using joint-friendly exercises. Some tips and considerations for starting your exercise routine are:
● Start slow. Be aware of your body and its signals. Stop immediately if you feel pain or discomfort.
● Keep your exercise low impact. Elliptical trainers, bicycle and water exercises are the best.
● Keep moving. Arthritis feels better with constant motions.
Periods of long rest can aggravate your symptoms. This is why you can have more soreness in the morning. Here are a few exercises that you can do right from your home to improve your joint health.
Leg lifts are an important leg exercise to improve stability, balance, and strength, reducing the impact on the knees.
Hold onto a chair or wall for balance if needed.
Lift your leg out to the side. Keep your toes pointing forward. Keep your torso upright and; avoid leaning.
Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
Stand up tall and hold on if you need it.
Press your leg backward keeping your knee straight.
Squeeze your glutes and hold for 3 seconds. Avoid arching your back.
Complete this exercise 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
Lie on your back with your knees bent (on your bed if the floor is not an option).
Tighten your buttocks and abdominal muscles, then raise your buttocks 6 inches off the floor/bed.
Lower yourself and repeat 3 sets of 10 reps.
Wellness 360 can bridge the gap between building a strong foundation and making exercise part of your day to day routine. We have developed classes designed and led by a physical therapist, guaranteeing that you are getting appropriate exercise and modifications to keep you moving and decrease your pain with day to day function. Wellness 360 + online classes can give you the evidence-based exercises you need to support your diagnosis. You can enjoy all the exercise programs for one low cost. There are programs for weight loss, joint health, Parkinson's, low back pain, osteoporosis, balance, and mindfulness for stress reduction. Check out www.wellness360fitness.com for more information.