I know how overwhelming it can be to get moving and exercise, especially if you struggle with achy joints! Exercise should never be a form of punishment, nor should it be painful. We live in a world where most people are sedentary, sitting in your car, at the office and then at home on the couch.
Sitting all day long, day in and day out can take its toll on your body and eventually your joints and muscles may start to tighten up. Over time, this could cause stiffness and pain, with symptoms worsening the longer you leave them.
The good news is there are a heap of ways to move your body 'pain free' and still work up a sweat!
Firstly, you need to focus on some light stretching and mobility work. You can easily do this at home before you go to work, and it is a great way to wake your body up and start your day. It will take you less than 10 minutes!
Try these simple stretches and hold them for a good 30 seconds each:
Lower back release (both sides) plus cobra
Hamstring stretch (both legs)
Lying Glute stretch (both sides)
Tricep stretch (both arms)
Shoulder Release (both sides)
Really focus on your breathing while you stretch, as this is a perfect opportunity to centre yourself and reconnect to your body before the busyness of your day kicks in.
Research shows that regular exercise helps to reduce the chronic inflammation associated with arthritis and can even increase your pain tolerance. Exercise also strengthens the muscles around the joint and increases blood flow to the joint, two things that can minimise discomfort. Gentle exercise can also increase the production of endorphins, which can further reduce pain (not to mention put you in a better frame of mind to handle it).
Below are 10 workout tips for achy joints:
- Be sure to warm up thoroughly
- Use a foam roller, especially for your thoracic spine (upper back).
- Choose a cardio workout that is right for you. If you have achy hips and knees, running isn't ideal. Instead, consider the bike or cross trainer.
- Alternate upper body and lower body exercises. Bouncing back and forth between upper and lower body exercises makes life easier for your joints by giving them a longer break in between.
- Include Yoga or Pilates - Consider these low-impact modalities your joints' new best friends. Pilates, for example, focuses on joint mobility and stability, creating balance around joints and increasing flexibility around joints. It also works on body awareness to improve balance and alignment.
- Modify your range of motion, shortening your range of motion can also ease joint pain.
- Take time to stretch in the morning and after your workouts.
- Mix up your workout routine so that you are not over using the same muscles and putting too much stress on the same joints.
- Go swimming. One of the best ways to exercise if you do have joint pain is in the water. The buoyancy of the water allows you to move freely without the weight bearing down on your joints. Get aqua jogging!
- Diet and nutrition. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important to ensure you’re obtaining all of the essential nutrients to support your joints, and taking the right supplements can definitely help support your nutrient requirements for healthy joints. Ethical Nutrients FLEXIZORB Active Joint Support is made from Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM®), which naturally contains the four key nutrients found in healthy joints: collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid.
I am nearing 40 years old and my recent foot injury has made me even more aware of the importance of joint care for both my flexibility and mobility. I’ve recently started incorporating FLEXIZORB Active Joint Support from Ethical Nutrients in to my everyday routine which can help improve joint mobility and flexibility from 10 days, as well as relieve symptoms of mild arthritis. If you’re experiencing joint stiffness or pain, follow my journey as I trial Ethical Nutrients FLEXIZORB Active Joint Support as part of my overall approach to joint care.
Written by Justine Switalla, Ethical Nutrients Ambassador & Creator of Fit Healthy Mums