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Exercise Shouldn't Be a Battle

By Donna Stark

Have you ever climbed a mountain? It can be incredibly challenging, can't it? Well, so can exercise when your joints are hurting. In fact, trying to keep up with your normal fitness routine when your joints are in pain can feel like an uphill battle! And who wants to feel like that every day? Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do, that in addition to making your workout routine easier, will also reduce the risk of further pain and injury. Take a look at a few of them below.   

Before You Exercise

You only need to remember one word before you engage in any type of physical activity  stretch! Stretching is key for anyone who wants to reduce the risk of injury, but it is especially important for those who are dealing with joint pain. Start with some light movements to help to warm your muscles up, then add in some dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches are those that involve slow, controlled movements, such as what you would find in yoga. It is also beneficial to apply some heat to your aching joints before exercise. Heating pads or a hot shower should do the trick.

During Your Workout

You already know the hike to the top of the mountain is out of the picture but do you know there are many other exercises you should avoid doing too? High-impact, or high-intensity, workouts should be saved for another time. Look for low-impact workouts that are easier on the joints, instead. Some really good options are swimming, walking, and cycling. But remember, you still have to listen to your body. If your joints are screaming for you to stop, then take a break and come back to it another day. You don't want to risk additional pain or injury.

After You Exercise

Sure, you may be tired and hungry, but your body needs some attention first. Before you do anything else, it's time to cool down with some stretching. This is where you can pull out those static stretches. You know, the ones where you hold a position and count to 10. But instead of counting to 10, count to 30. It's the best way to lengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility.

Keep Your Body Moving

It is completely understandable to be frustrated with joint pain because everyone wants their body to perform its best, but it's also important to minimize any further damage. So, take your time with your workouts and take extra care of your body. By doing so, you will be able to get back to your normal fitness routine in no time. And who knows? You may even be able to scale that mountain one day.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbia, S.C. 

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