We don’t always have to live the “no pain, no gain” lifestyle, in fact there are a number of great exercises out there that are easy on your joints and can decrease some of the pain you may be feeling post workout. Additionally, if you have joint issues, you may find that these workouts will decrease the pain that you may feel on a regular basis. Increasing circulation and strengthening muscles is extremely helpful in getting rid of stiffness and in some cases, pain. Here are some ideas of things that are easier on your body. These low impact workouts will help you achieve your fitness goals without taking a toll on your body.
1. Elliptical workouts. Elliptical machines were actually designed by engineers who researched body movements like running and other stride based activities. The result was a machine that would allow people to perform the same motions without the added strain on joints or the skeletal system. In addition to a decrease in body strain, the elliptical also adds in arm movements to create a more full body workout. There are many ellipticals to choose from and our staff at Fitness Town can help you choose the best one for you and your specific goals.
2. Running or walking on a treadmill. Because of the padded running area, treadmills allow people to walk, run or jog without the same strain that would be experienced outside. Most treadmills also include a shock absorption system and allow you to control the incline. Additionally the absence of a decline option on most treadmills will eliminate the added strain you would experience going down a large hill outside. Treadmills allow you to be in control of your terrain while providing most of the same health benefits of the outdoors, in some cases you can even go on a virtual nature run or hike like with the Platinum series by Life Fitness.
3. Swimming. The great thing about swimming and water aerobics is that the water creates a natural resistance that is easy on your body. There are so many different options to choose from so that you can continue to switch up your routine. Since most facilities include hot tubs which also have benefits for sore muscles and body circulation, this routine can be especially beneficial.
4. Rowing Machines. Another machine that can help you tone your body without imposing a large strain is the rower. Rowing also helps with posture by strengthening your upper back. Because you push with your legs and pull with your arms, it creates a full body workout. The great thing about a rower is that you are in control, by pulling harder you increase the resistance and the faster you go the more calories you burn.
5. Stationary bikes or outdoor bikes with a good shock absorption system. If you are worried about your joints I would suggest getting a stationary bike as the natural elements outside can’t be controlled and things like hills can add strain to your joints. With an indoor bike, you can control the resistance levels to mimic hills but at a level that is comfortable for you. If you are going to bike outside, ensure that you have an adequate shock absorption system so that your body is not taking the bulk of the bumps along the way. The are different types of indoor bikes that you can choose from. There are spin bikes, upright bikes and recumbent bikes. Ask a fitness expert at Fitness Town to help you decide which is the best for you.
And remember that when it comes to your joints, a good warm up and stretch is always advisable!