We’ve all heard of the benefits of working out and staying active—however, as we age, our bodies often become prone to injury. Here are some tips on how to protect your joints.
A challenge for many people is discovering how to protect their joints while also getting the cardio and strength training that they need.
Thankfully, this is much easier than many people think! Let’s look at some ideas that will not only protect your joints, but will also increase muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. There are several work-out procedures and routines that can help to prevent injury while also helping boost your muscle strength.
Remember my work-out rules? One of the most important things that you can do to ensure that your joints stay protected is to warm up.
Warming up increases circulation to your muscles, reducing the risk of muscle strain and injury. Try a simple warm-up such as walking in place for a few minutes or some chair-sits. Make sure you give your muscles ample time to adjust to your new rate of physical activity. No matter what, never skip your warm-up — your muscles will thank you later and you’ll find that your work-outs will go much smoother when you ease into them.
At the end of your work-out, try to incorporate a shorter version of the same exercises you used in your warm-up to help your muscles cool down. For example, if for your warm-up you walked for 5 minutes, try cooling down with a 2 minute walk. Again, this ensures that blood continues circulating through your body even as your heart rate decreases.
Aquatics is perhaps the most underrated form of exercise out there.
Though we don’t all possess the athletic prowess of Michael Phelps, we can all derive some benefit from visiting the pool once in awhile. One of the best things about the pool is that it minimizes stress and impact on your joints, which helps to prevent injury. Though some recreational centers do offer aquatic fitness classes, you can also visit the pool on your own or with a friend and practice some simple moves. Many of the work-out moves that you can use at home, such as leg lifts or chair sits, can be adapted for use in an aquatic setting.
Even simple swimming is a great way to improve your cardio stamina. Just make sure to always follow the swimming safety rules! Exercise in a pool with a lifeguard and never push yourself too far. If you don’t know how to swim, consider taking swimming class at your local pool.
Thankfully, protecting your joints doesn’t have to be difficult. There are several practical ways to do this.