Do you have a bone to pick with your joints? The growing pains associated with maturing joints can be downright discouraging. Maybe you used to run marathons, play tennis for hours, and effortlessly chase after your children. But, suddenly, such simple tasks as climbing the stairs cause stiff, arthritic joints to ache.
While avoiding exercise entirely feels like the obvious choice, working out is some of the best medicine for arthritis sufferers. High-impact exercises such as running, jumping rope, or playing sports that require quick lateral movements, such as basketball or tennis, should be avoided. Instead, aim for low-impact cardiovascular exercises, such as using an elliptical (happy hips are found at a 0-0.5 elevation setting), swimming, walking and biking.
Add these three exercises into your workout routine to improve the range of motion and strengthen the muscles supporting arthritic joints.
Note: Always consult with your physician before starting a new exercise routine.
Stability ball wall squats
The knees and hips experience a lot of wear and tear. Over time, cartilage begins to deteriorate, leading to osteoarthritis, and being inactive further exacerbates the pain. Implementing functional movements, such as stability ball squats, can help bolster the muscles supporting the hips and knees.
Leg raises engage the quadriceps and core muscles, and help open tight hip flexors. This exercise moves your legs through their natural range of motion, which sustains joint flexibility and mobility.
When we think of fitness, hand exercises don't usually come to mind. Yet finger dexterity and mobility are necessary for many daily functions. Hand exercises can ease arthritic discomfort by keeping the ligaments and tissues flexible. Practice these convenient, do-anywhere hand exercises to help reduce the pain of arthritic hands.
For best results, practice these exercises several times throughout the week.