For most people experiencing joint pains and body aches, getting involved in physical activity and exercise is one of the last things they hope they’ll have to do. With all the aches they feel around their hips, knees, ankles, and heels, the first thing they give up is any form of physical regimen they used to do. But it’s already become a bit well-known that doing some moderate exercises would actually do some real good to someone with arthritis or joint pain, such as improving the support for your bones, joints, knees, and ankles.
Before we get into how you can stay active despite experiencing joint pain, let’s first explore why one needs to stay active. Read on.
Why You Should Stay Active
Even though you might be feeling a lot of aches and pains in your muscles and joints your whole body, you should still stay active. It’s alright to seek chiropractic care for your back pains if you want, but do know that physical exercise is still one of the best cures for body aches and joint pains. Here are some of the reasons why you should stay active and make fitness activities a part of your routine:
- Doing exercises might seem tiring at first, but they actually give you that extra boost of energy throughout the day
- Exercises are also helpful in getting deep and restful sleep at night
- Doing exercises may help keep your weight low
- Exercise can strengthen the muscles which support your joints
- Exercise can help improve your balance and health
- You’ll be maintaining your bone strength by doing exercises
- Overall, you’ll be able to experience a higher quality of life if you do regular exercises
Most people who are experiencing body aches and joint pains think they should skip doing exercises or refrain from doing any physical activity. Those who often feel pain and aches in their knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, ankles, and heels often think that they’re not supposed to do anything that would require them to move around or lift heavy objects.
These people are usually those who have been diagnosed with an orthopedic condition that impedes their bodily movement. Some of them think that doing physical exercises would exacerbate the pains and aches that they suffer from every day. However, they should be aware that their muscles, bones, and joints could become more stiff and painful if they don’t exercise regularly.
When you don’t do exercises, the muscles around your bones will grow weaker over time. Your bones need the muscles and tissues surrounding them to be strong. If they’re not strong enough, any weight or stress would be shifted to your bones and joints. Over time, this would have an impact on your joints, and you’d feel more joint pains and aches.
Consult Your Doctor
Before immersing yourself in any physical activity or training exercises, it is recommended to consult Ortho Specialists first. Orthopedic specialists specialize in the musculoskeletal system— the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles essential to movement and everyday life. They are in the best position to say what you can be allowed to do and what you shouldn’t do, at least in the meantime.
These specialists would be able to determine what exercises would be okay for you to do given the causes and magnitude of the joint pains you’re experiencing. They can also team up with other therapists to optimize your treatment. They can draw up an exercise plan or strength training program to give your body what it needs without aggravating your body pains.
Exercises You Can Do To Stay Active Despite Joint Pain
Despite experiencing joint pain caused by arthritis, previous injuries, or other causes, you can still do various exercises and other physical activities to stay active. Here are some of the exercises you can do to stay active despite experiencing joint pain:
These types of exercises test the limits of your movements. Range of motion exercises may help increase your ability to move your limbs and joints so you can reach the full extent of their range of motion.
These may be very helpful in relieving stress and stiffness on your neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. You’re probably familiar with some examples of these exercises, such as rolling your shoulders in a circular motion forward, then reverse or backward, and raising your arms above your head.
You can also do exercises to help you increase the strength of your muscles. Having strong muscles is vital to support your joints and bones. Without strong muscles, most of the weight of your body and everything else you carry each day will have to be borne by your bones and joints. This may aggravate the body aches and joint pains you’re already experiencing.
Weight training is the most common way to increase a person’s strength. The exercises in weight training may help you develop or even further increase your muscle strength. However, you should refrain from doing exercises that hit the same group of muscles on consecutive days. For instance, if you’re doing reps for your thighs and calves today, you shouldn’t do reps for them tomorrow. Muscles tend to be stressed and stretched after a workout, so you need to give them some rest.
If you’re going to start a strength training program and want to see some quick progress, you can start with a three-days a week program. But if you’re not in a rush to build some strength, two days a week would do just as fine.
Another option for those experiencing body aches and joint pains but who would want to stay active is to get into aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises would be a great addition to your overall health and fitness regimen. One of the benefits of doing aerobic activities is their positive impact on cardiovascular health. Aerobic exercises may also help you lose excess weight and keep your weight under control.
There are different kinds of aerobic exercises, but most of them are beneficial for your heart and lungs. Most of them would also make you sweat a lot. Some trainers and therapists advise their patients or trainees to try to go for about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises every week. If you’re just starting and feel some wobbly aches on your joints, you can do your aerobic exercises in staggered parts of 10 minutes each. This method should make it easier on your bones and joints.
For those already feeling a bit of body ache and joint pains here and there, going for a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise could be the right program for you. It’s not too fast, and it doesn’t ask for a lot from your body, but it’s one of the most effective exercise regimens and it’s relatively safe. A good test to know whether what you’re doing can still be considered moderate-intensity would be your breathing. If you can still talk while you’re doing the moderate-intensity aerobic exercises, then you’re still in the moderate-intensity zone.
You can do a whole lot of other activities which can’t be considered as falling under range-of-motion exercises, strength exercises, and aerobic exercises. Some of your daily tasks and chores at home can easily fall under this category as long as you have to make some movements as part of that activity.
These activities don’t demand a lot from your body but will still increase your energy and stamina without aggravating any body aches and joint pains that you might already be suffering from. There are lots of awareness exercises, as well as breathing exercises and meditation sessions, you can join to stay active even in your retirement years. Some of the direct benefits of this activity are an improved sense of balance, better posture, and better sleep at night.
Specific Activities You Can Do
Aside from exercises, strength training, or aerobics programs, you can still do a lot of other physical activities even though you’re already enduring joint pains. Here are some of the other specific physical activities you can do:
Walking is one of the easiest and most convenient things you can do to stay active despite body aches and joint pains. It is a very low-stress and low-impact activity that won’t put too much stress on your bones and joints.
For those who want to make the most of it, you might want to do your walking routine for at least an hour each day. You can head out of your home for some walking. If you’re feeling a bit more energetic, you might want to do some brisk walking. It’ll help you break your sweat much earlier than just simple, leisurely, or even slow walking.
Walking In The Pool
Another specific activity that you can do that isn’t that stressful or strenuous to your bones and joints would be to walk in water, or more specifically, walking in the swimming pool. This would be a great activity to do. You can even ask your family and kids to come along with you. They’ll surely love to be in the pool with you.
Walking in the pool doesn’t have as much stressful and strenuous impact on your bones and joints since the water lubricates your every step. You won’t even feel tired while you’re walking inside the water because all you’ll feel is the volume of water hugging around your limbs and thighs. But the good thing is that your legs and feet would still be exercised to their full range because the water would be applying some pressure on them.
Some people think they have to do something strenuous that would make them sweat a lot and feel exhausted before they are said to have stayed active even though they’re already feeling some pains and aches in their bodies. However, you can still indulge in light gardening as an alternative activity to stay active.
Group Exercise Classes
You can also join group dancing classes to stay active. Being part of a group exercise activity is a great way to stay active even when you’re already feeling your age with all the body aches and joint pains. At the same time, you’ll get to meet a lot of new people. You can learn a lot from interacting with them and from the experiences and stories they might share with you. In other words, you’ll get both the benefits of a physical as well as a social activity.
There are lots of group exercise classes that you can join. Some hold tai chi meditation and exercise classes in public parks and squares. Some senior adults also come together to have calisthenics and breathing classes in gymnasiums, football fields, track fields, bay walks, and public squares.
Another activity that you can do that won’t put as much stress on your bones and joints is riding a bicycle. You’ll still feel tired after cycling, but at least it won’t have the same stressful impact on your joints, knees, ankles, and heels. While you’re riding your bike, you won’t feel the same stress on your legs as you would when you run or sprint, and your knees and ankles won’t have to bear too much impact as they would every time your feet hit the ground.
A good way to do this would be to do either moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity cycling. For example, you can ride a bike for two and a half hours. You can do this at a speed of less than 10 miles per hour to keep it a moderate ride.
In the alternative, you can also go for a vigorous ride for about 75 minutes. You can do this at a speed of more than 10 miles per hour. Keep in mind that a good combination would be to do two minutes of moderate-intensity activity for every minute of vigorous-intensity activity.
Most people who are already experiencing joint pains and body aches would think they’d have to give up all their sports activities and physical exercises to avoid exacerbating the pain they’re experiencing. However, they should be aware that staying active and doing physical exercises are significant even for those who have already developed joint pain. Just remember to consult your doctor first before getting into any physical activity to ensure your safety.