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Why exercise is important for joint health

Posted on 26-12-16

Pain impacts not only mobility but also your way of life. Long term pain can result in chronic stress, which in turn, can lead to numerous other health issues. People with pain and stiffness in their joints may avoid exercise but exercising your joints is the best way to get relief from joint stiffness and pain.
Exercise has many benefits on your joint health: It keeps your joint muscles flexible, reduces stiffness and pain in the joints, strengthens bones and cartilage in the joints, helps you cope with stress and depression associated with arthritis pain, lose weight that can contribute to arthritis pain, improves mobility and makes it easier for you to go about your daily tasks, and keeps you fit and healthy.
Before you start with any exercise, it is important to take the advice of your physician. Also, you must balance exercise with rest and joint care. The right way to exercise when you have arthritis pain is to choose those exercises that will be beneficial to your joint health. Resistance, cardiovascular and range-of-motion exercises are good for reducing pain and improving flexibility.
Resistance exercises help to stretch as well as strengthen muscles. Resistance exercises can be done with resistance bands or light weights. Squats, pushups, hamstring stretches, lifting your leg from a seated position, in a chair, for example. Good examples of cardiovascular exercises are walking, swimming and dancing. Exercises that support good range of motion are yoga, tai chi, hip rotations, and shoulder and arm rotations. These exercises reduce stiffness in the joints and improve joint flexibility.
Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight. Exercise will not harm a joint but if your joint muscles are flared up, and you are in pain, it is advisable not to put pressure on the joints that hurt. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist to help you with exercise that is best for your joints.

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