If you suffer from bone and joint pain, you may be tempted to avoid physical activity to spare yourself discomfort. Don’t!
When you avoid exercise, you’re not doing your body any favours. Physical fitness plays an important role in gaining and maintaining strength and flexibility. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your pain and go from zero to marathon, either. Here are some safe ways to treat your bones and joints to a healthy workout.
Grin and bear it
Weight-bearing exercises force your body to work against gravity to help build and strengthen bones. High-impact activities like aerobics, running, jumping rope, dancing and stair climbing put the most weight on your bones, providing the quickest results. However, if you suffer from osteoporosis, have an injury or are otherwise unable to perform high-impact exercises safely, you can still benefit from lower-impact choices like cycling, swimming or using an elliptical machine.
When you perform strength-training exercises you add resistance to your movements, making your muscles work harder. According to Osteoporosis Canada, strength training may work to increase the bone mineral density of your spine and hips. Some examples of strength-training workouts include free weights, weight machines, push-ups and resistance-band exercises. Core workouts such as Pilates can also help by improving your balance and posture. The better your balance, the less likely you are to suffer a fall that could put your bones at risk of further injury.
By staying in motion you can avoid the pain and discomfort that comes from stiff, underused joints. Whether you’re sitting at a desk, lounging on the sofa or stuck on an overnight flight, remember to change positions and get up to move around. Yoga and gentle stretching will keep your body flexible — but don’t attempt to bend over backwards when your muscles are cold or you could put yourself at risk of injury. Warm up slowly to loosen up your joints, ligaments and tendons first.
Keep it going in the kitchen
For best results your focus should extend past the gym and into the kitchen. Eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation that leads to joint pain. Encourage strong bones with calcium-rich dairy products and leafy green vegetables like kale and broccoli. Adding supplements to your diet can ensure you are getting enough of these important nutrients. For relief from joint paint and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis, you may also benefit from the targeted formulation of SISU No. 7, with its combination of seven joint health ingredients.