If you feel any joint pain, you may shrink from any physical activity. The truth is, with exercise, you can make your joints stronger so you can move more freely. Exercise also helps you maintain your ideal weight and reduce pressure on your joints. What's important is to know what exercises you can do.
Safe exercises for your joints
- Stretching exercises are the simplest and easiest. They consist of stretching and holding different joint and muscle groups for 10 - 30 seconds each. Stretching improves joint mobility and flexibility, and daily stretching is the basis for any exercise programme.
- Strength exercises involve working the muscle against resistance. This can be with or without weights. Resistance training strengthens the muscle and increases the amount of activity you can do pain-free. Strengthening your thigh muscles, in particular, is specially beneficial – as these support your knee joints where you are most likely to feel pain.
- Conditioning exercises, also called aerobic exercise, improve cardiovascular fitness. It makes your heart and blood vessels healthier, prevents disability, and improves mood and well-being. Good conditioning exercises for people with arthritis include low-impact activities like walking, swimming, bicycling, or using an elliptical machine. Any of these will get your heart pumping.
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