Low-Impact Exercises for Your JointsWhether due to age, pregnancy, or injury, needing to be gentle on the joints does not have to mean giving up on a fitness routine. There are options for different budgets and workout styles that help strengthen the body without further damaging injured joints.
Swimming has long been recommended for people with joint issues, and for good reason. The buoyancy of the human body in water relieves pressure on the joints, allowing the body to move in ways that could cause strain on land. Regular swimming has even been shown to reduce pain and increase strength in those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Elliptical machines, rowing machines, and seated stationary bicycles are all excellent choices for a cardio gym workout that prevents strain on the joints while still providing enough resistance to strengthen them. For those passionate about running, a good treadmill will be much easier on joints than running on hard concrete.
Resistance bands are a versatile, inexpensive tool that can be used for warmups and workouts. They are excellent for strengthening the joints without stressing them too much and provide a similar workout for the body as using free weights or a cable machine.
Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise involving gentle flowing movements. Although it was originally designed as a martial art, it is a perfect exercise for people suffering from joint problems. Tai chi improves balance, reduces joint pain, and aids in stress reduction.
Barre workout programs are an excellent choice for those suffering from joint pain. These programs focus on controlled, smooth movements performed along with upbeat music, providing a fun, energizing workout without undue strain on the joints.
Yoga and pilates are wonderful choices to stretch and strengthen the body while caring for the joints. Since yoga’s introduction to the West, its popularity has soared; the practice is beneficial for the mind and body, developing strength, flexibility, and focus. There are myriad varieties to choose from. Yin yoga stretches the body deeply but gently. Aerial yoga is beneficial for students with joint pain, as some of the body weight is supported by a fabric swing. For a more intense class, Ashtanga, Bikram, or another Vinyasa provide a tough workout without undue impact on the joints.