One of the biggest constraints against working out is painful joints. Lots of people, particularly older adults, suffer from either bad knees, hips or ankle joints that scream in pain whenever trying to exercise. While exercise isn’t always fun, it should never be painful. It just means that you’ll need to be a little more creative.
Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is super important, particularly as we age! So just because you suffer from joint pain or even arthritis, it doesn’t mean you should skip out on exercising. There are lots of options out there that will help strengthen joints and build muscle to further protect weak knees, hips, ankles, and other joint issues, without causing damage to these joints. Plus, a lot of these exercises are still great forms of cardio! You don’t have to sacrifice cardio for low-impact exercises.
Here’s a look at 12 low impact, joint-friendly exercises…
Swimming laps is a great, low impact exercise that also burns calories. It’s a particularly good exercise for people with painful joints or those who are carrying excess weight. We seemingly become weightless in the water as the buoyancy takes over and removes any stress involved with supporting the body.
“Buoyancy in the water reduces stress on your body by helping to support your weight, but that doesn’t mean it’s a thoughtless workout — swimming incorporates cardio, strength, and flexibility in one workout,” writes Healthline. In addition to that, there are lots of great exercises that can be done in the water like a basic freestyle stroke which engages the shoulders, triceps, pecs and quads. You could also try joining a water-aerobics class!
Those who suffer from arthritis will notice that warm water is best for their joints, so look into visiting a pool that is heated. If you’re doing a class, ask the instructor to give any recommendations on how to adapt certain movements for your condition, says Everyday Health.