Millions of Americans suffer from some variance of arthritic pain, whether it’s a concentrated pain in one area or a general ache throughout the body. Depending on the severity, pain from arthritis can limit mobility and impose lifestyle changes. Developing and maintaining preventative healthy habits can help to guard your body against the onset or progression of arthritis.
Fortunately, there are several exercises you can incorporate into your routine that will help your body fight arthritis and joint pain, so you can maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Of course, before starting any exercise routine, make sure to consult your physician. The following are some daily exercises worth considering as you figure out what your body can handle!
One way to combat the aches and pains of aging is by walking more. Regular walking is a convenient, free, and sustainable way to ward off joint pain. The heightened circulation achieved by walking helps to slow down the loss of bone mass and strengthen the muscles that support the joints.
With proper preparation and equipment, weight lifting can help maintain strong, supportive muscles. As with any strength training, warming up and stretching before the workout is just as important as the workout itself. Help your muscles loosen up by doing light cardio and a few simple stretches before you begin. If you do not have access to light weights, using a household object that weighs approximately 1 pound will suffice. Use slow, fluid movements as you lift and lower the weights. Mild squats and bicep and tricep curls are effective joint stiffness remedies because they can help work muscles connected to common joint pain.
Because of the stabilizing surface, wall push-ups present an opportunity to safely work both arm muscles and core muscles. After warming up, stand about two feet from the wall and place your hands on the wall at chest height. Slowly bend your arms, bringing your body closer to the wall while keeping your body straight. Return to your starting position and repeat.
One of the most common sources of arthritic pain is the knees. Strengthening aging muscles surrounding the joints can help your knees stand up to even the most persistent aches. Simple, repetitive movements are the key to successfully exercising the knees. Starting in a seated position with knees bent at 90 degrees, slowly straighten one leg (keep a slight bend to avoid locking your joint). Return to starting position and repeat. To make the exercise more challenging, add a light ankle weight.
Marching in Place
The benefits that accompany marching in place are similar to walking except for marching targets the hips and thighs more specifically. Starting with increments of 30 to 60 seconds, move your legs vertically with a wide range of motion. Next, try marching forward and backward to work the surrounding muscles and enhance the cardio aspect of the exercise.
Range of Motion Exercises
One of the best ways to fight off arthritic pain is to keep the joints moving in their full range of motion. This is especially effective for the shoulders, arms, hands, and feet. Always keep in mind that no movements should feel forced or painful. Try slowly and deliberately circling your arms forward and backward for 30 seconds per direction. Next, try wrist circles, ankle circles, and a repetitive clenching and unclenching of the fists. These exercises are a great way to loosen stiff joints in the morning and before you go to bed.
Benefits of Hydrotherapy
An amazing supplement to these exercises is hydrotherapy. The use of water to relax your joints and muscles catalyzes the relaxation process and helps to melt away any areas of tension. An American Standard walk-in tub comes equipped with our exclusive RevitaJet™ Hydrotherapy system, which soothes the body with air and water jets. While treating yourself to a hot bath may feel indulgent, its benefits are practical and therapeutic.
Consistently incorporating these exercises into your routine and supplementing them with hydrotherapy will equip your body with the muscle strength and flexibility it needs to ward off arthritic joint pain.
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