Do you have achy joints? If so and you would still like to exercise than these tips in this article by Linda Melone it goes over how you can reduce your aches in your joints.
When I was in my 20s, I’d go to the gym, hop on a machine and start working out without thinking twice about my joints. Now, at 55, there are days when it seems a whole lot easier to skip my workout altogether than to deal with my achy knees. And, since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you can relate to my frustration.
The key, as I’m sure you probably know: Getting ourselves to do it anyway. 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 minimize discomfort, says Nathan Wei, MD, a rheumatologist in Frederick, MD. It also increases the production of endorphins, which can further reduce pain (not to mention put you in a better frame of mind to handle it).
If you’re thinking, "Seriously? Have you been in my body lately?? It hurts!" I hear you. Getting started when your body sounds and feels like the Tin Man is far from easy. But making a few simple changes to your exercise routine can mean the difference between a pain-free workout and one that hurts.
Here are 11 tweaks and tricks that can make staying active when you're hurting so much easier.
1. Don't skip the warm-up
Most people tend to skip the warm-up, but there’s good reason for you not to: Jumping into a workout without first warming up your muscles can increase joint pain, especially after age 40, says David Kruse, MD, a board certified sports medicine specialist with Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, CA. "Joints hurt more when muscles and tendons are stiff. As we age, our joint mobility and tissue flexibility decline; a thorough warm-up helps accommodate these changes." It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to complicated: Five minutes of light movement, like an easy walk, is all you need to get that blood flowing, warm up your muscles, and get them ready for the task at hand.
2. Use a foam roller.
Joint pain can feel worse when your fascia (the elastic, weblike matrix of fibrous connective tissue that supports, binds, or separates your other tissues, joints, and organs), becomes dry and brittle—something that happens as we age. Ideally, your fascia acts a cushion for your joints, and helps to protect them from impact during exercise, says Sue Hitzmann, an exercise physiologist and creator of The Melt Method. The more hydrated your fascia, the more cushion you get. Creating gentle compression with a soft foam roller helps rehydrate your fascia by stimulating its cells and helping fluid move back into that tissue, says Hitzmann. While research shows that foam rolling before or after your workout can minimize discomfort, Hitzmann says that even doing it three times a week can reduce joint pain by about half.