5 Exercises that are Easy on Your Joints
By Ali Struhs
Are your knees feeling sore after hitting the pavement in jogging shoes? If you have joint pain, either from a past injury, extra weight, or another issue, you don’t have to dread lacing up your sneakers. You can still exercise! Instead of pounding your joints with high-impact workouts, try low-impact and joint-friendly exercises that get your heart rate up, burn calories, and tone muscle. From swimming to sweating in a spin class, try these 5 low-impact exercises that are easy on your joints.
Get in the water
Whether it’s the adult swim session at your neighborhood pool or a water aerobic class at your gym, dive into the water! Swimming laps or water aerobics are both excellent exercises for sore joints, since water workouts are non-weight bearing. Working out in the H2O not only conditions your heart and lungs, but it also improves muscle strength and flexibility.
Strike a pose
Your joints will thank you if you add yoga to your fitness routine. Yoga is a timeless exercise! Yoga burns calories, improves flexibility, and tones muscle through stretching and strengthening poses. It’s also a way to scorch stress through deep breathing exercises and meditation, making it a total mind-body workout that is also easy on your joints and great for all fitness levels. Bonus: new research shows yoga may help your aging brain as well!
Go to the gym
Instead of pounding the pavement and going home with sore knees, head to your local Curves. The joint-friendly circuit machines can help you get your heart rate up and burn major calories. The 30 minute routine encompasses strength training, cardio and stretching for a well-rounded workout.
Walk it out
Walk, hike, or snowshoe to get moving! Your dog will thank you, too! It can be any season of the year, because as long as you move your legs, you’ll be burning calories. Try going for a walk after work and enjoy the sound of chirping birds and the smell of fresh cut grass for a stress-free workout that is easy on your joints and that you can do every day. On the weekend, take your whole family on a hike. The varying incline will get your heart rate up. Just be sure to pack enough water to stay hydrated!
Try two wheels
If you haven’t pedaled a bike since you were a kid, now’s the time to hop on two wheels again. Start with just a quick ride around your neighborhood. Make this low-impact exercise fun and take your kids on a park path to a favorite picnic spot. Don’t forget to always wear a helmet! For a more intense exercise, try a spin class at the gym. This indoor cycling class features an instructor and heart-pumping music that takes you on a ride through inclines, speed bursts, and recoveries to get you dripping sweat.