Exercises to Strengthen Joints and Prevent Injury
Our joints allow us to turn, twist, jump, move, and run. These are some of the things that enable us to enjoy life and move freely. However, it is normal for our bodies to go through wear and tear as we get older. And our joints are just as susceptible to this if we do not proactively try to maintain their strength.
A joint is a place that connects two bones. It is joined together with muscles and ligaments for stability. However, it is the articular cartilage that distributes compression forces, enabling smooth gliding during movement. Therefore, the main goal should be reducing damage to the cartilage to ensure healthy joints.
Healthy joints play a crucial role in helping avoid joint replacement procedures, particularly knee and hip arthroplasties, and early-onset of joint pain.
Exercise Variety is Crucial
Variety is necessary for any exercise program. Your routine should include a mixture of flexibility, muscle strengthening, and aerobic exercises to ensure lifelong healthy joints.
Below are some effective exercises that can help you maintain joint health:
Flexibility exercises are perfect for maintaining the complete motion range of your joints. Active stretching workouts, like pilates, tai chi, and yoga will allow your joints to get prepared for more strenuous exercises. You can achieve maximum performance by performing stretching exercises both after and before strength training or an aerobic workout.
Cardio and Aerobics
Cardiovascular or aerobic workouts should start with low intensity. You should stay away from high-impact training, like step aerobics, running on city streets or any other hard surface, and jumping rope, as you get older.
Low-impact sports and exercises, such as swimming, walking, paddle boarding, and bicycling are ideal. Moreover, you need minimal equipment to indulge in these activities.
You may also make use of gym equipment that has low-impact loads for a leg workout. Examples include stationary cycle, stair climber, or an elliptical.
Weight training is essential to strengthen your muscles, which in turn, ensures improved joint stability.
It is crucial to perform weight training in the right form. You should start with high repetitions and low loads to ensure the safety of your joints.
Do not forget to consult a trained professional like an exercise physiologist or a physical therapist before starting weight training. They can help develop the right program for you.
Picking an Exercise You Enjoy is Key
You are more likely to stick with something if you actually enjoy it. You should choose activities and exercises that you find fun. This way, you will be more likely to perform your exercise routine every day.
Ensure Pain Prevention
While there are many treatments available that may help treat chronic joint and muscle pain when you are old, nothing can be better than preventing it in the first place. All you need to do is take care and be proactive in your younger years. It may also be beneficial to consult a physical therapist or personal trainer to put together a workout routine that works for you.