Everyone knows how important exercise is for the body. We need to incorporate exercise into our routines to maintain good health – both total body and joint health. But it is important to engage exercise healthily, and that’s where understanding “joint-friendly” exercise comes in.
Many people, when they finally decide to exercise, make the mistake of jumping into a regimen meant for someone who has been working out. This usually results in pain and injury. What these people actually should be doing are “joint-friendly” exercises.
When someone starts exercising it is essential that they give their bodies time to adapt to the new strain. Just as starting weightlifting at 300 pounds would most likely end in injury, ballistic movements such as jumping, landing and hard running can be very rough on joints, causing pain and, in severe cases, injury.
If you are just starting to execute an exercise plan, it is wise to start out with “joint-friendly” exercises until your body adapts to the newfound stresses. Some excellent ways to begin your new road to exercise include, biking, ellipticals, versa climbers, cross-country skiers, and swimming.
Additionally, there are ways to modify common exercises to lessen the impact on your joints:
- Instead of box jumps do step ups – box jumps are ballistic movements and very bad for your joints when you are just beginning an exercise regimen. Step ups are low impact and allow for the muscles supporting your joints to strengthen.
- Instead of doing jump squats, do full body extensions – these are just like jump squats only you never leave your feet.
- Use a suspension trainer – these pieces of equipment lessen the impact on joints extensively while affording the benefits of what would normally be ballistic exercises.
When we are friendlier to our joints, our joints are friendlier to us. So, when you start your exercise regimen – or as you recover from an injury or surgery, remember to be nice to your joints. They will thank you in oh so many ways.
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