Back strain, knee pain, sprained ankles – oh my! Orthopedists and chiropractors will tell you the majority of injuries they encounter are sports, or exercise related. High impact exercise like running or Plyometric jumping stresses joints, and may not be for everyone. People who are new to exercise, arthritis sufferers, or those with chronic injuries can still get an effective fat burning workout without the joint strain. Don’t despair if you’ve had to retire your running shoes. Options for low impact exercise are accessible to anyone and can be done in the comfort of your home, or at the health club.
Walking counts towards The American Heart Association’s recommended 150 minutes of weekly aerobic exercise. This activity is joint friendly and can be amped up by picking up the pace or choosing steep inclines. Better yet, it’s free, and the only equipment needed is a good pair of walking shoes. For all year round in-home comfort, try power walking on a rebounder. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked!
Swimming is an effective calorie burner and can be done any time of year thanks to indoor pools. Research shows water aerobics to be extremely beneficial for osteoarthritis and rehabilitating the body. With zero impact on joints, doing laps in the pool can raise your heart rate, and help you lose weight.
Cycling provides a fantastic lower body workout and offers options to hit the open road or use a stationary bicycle. Weather permitting, it’s a healthy way to leave the car in the garage to run errands or commute. A great innovation for seniors or those with limited joint mobility is the electric bike which looks much like a normal bicycle but has a built in motor making it easier to go longer distances, and climb hills.
Our joints are made for moving, and remaining active is a great way to prevent inflammation. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any workout, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.