As we grow older, so do our joints. The natural wear and tear endured by tissues and ligaments lead to heightened inflammation and reduced mobility, resulting in painful, creaking knees, elbows, and fingers. Some may even suffer from arthritic conditions that further hamper their ability to move about freely. Conventional wisdom suggests that the easy way to improve flexibility is through low-intensity exercises. Here are four mobility drills that help ease arthritic pain.
There is perhaps no better medium than water to slowly exercise the pain away. It not only shapes and sculpts your body but also exercises the joints without causing injury. The near-weightless nature of water provides great resistance to strengthen tissues and ligaments. You can focus on movements that are slow, easy, controlled, and safe. In addition to swimming, you can also try water-aerobics that strengthen muscles and joints.
The ancient Indian practice may seem like an intensive workout, requiring a high degree of flexibility and fitness. The fact is that most yoga poses can be easily modified to suit you. Medical experts have validated the exercise as having a positive, pain-reducing effect on stiff joints, and reducing stress and tension for your mental well-being. The various poses help lubricate the joints, allowing ease of movement.
Low-intensity exercises are good for your joints, but may not be effective for your heart. Cardiovascular fitness plays an important role in helping you deal with debilitating conditions that arthritis can cause. Cycling is a great workout that not only pumps the heart and strengthens the lungs, but it does so without placing any additional burden on your joints. Just the simple act of riding a bike can act as a mood enhancer, recreating childhood memories, and bringing back a smile on your face.
Perhaps the simplest, easiest exercise that you can and should do is walk. It is one of the most natural movements that our bodies are accustomed to. At the same time, the exercise allows the various joints to move in a controlled manner, strengthening them. You can increase the degree of difficulty to get a greater benefit from your walks. You can even invite a friend and add a social element to your exercise.
As the body ages, the chance of developing arthritis and joint pain increases. While it can be a painful burden, there are easy ways to lessen your discomfort. Choosing a low-intensity exercise that you enjoy will help you reduce the pain and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.