Staying active is an important part of promoting good health. Exercising can lead to better blood flow and ensures the entire body receives oxygen and other essentials.
For anyone living with mobility issues or conditions like arthritis, physical activity can be difficult but is quite important. As the Mayo Clinic reported, regularly working out helps maintain good flexibility and strength, and also can make a positive impact on joint pain.
Selecting the right activity is perfect. Choosing a workout that is too intense can exacerbate discomfort, while certain exercises offer tangible health benefits without putting too much stress on the body. Here are five low-impact ideas for staying active:
This is an excellent choice for anyone living with arthritis or any other condition because water supports the body in a way that greatly reduces stress on bones and joints. Likewise, swimming also engages the entire body, so it's an excellent way to improve cardiovascular fitness.
"Water supports the body in a way that greatly reduces stress on bones and joints."
There is another benefit that comes with swimming compared to other exercises. It can be quite personal, and unlike fitness classes that can come with lots of music and energy, a few laps in the pool is a calming affair.
The Arthritis Foundation cautioned that there are some key things to consider before getting started. A pool that is too hot can cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. Similarly, it's important to select the right stroke based on skill level. The source suggested consulting with an instructor or even taking a class to develop best practices for swimming as a form of exercise.
Another excellent form of exercise that can help promote a strong musculoskeletal system without too much stress is yoga. Practiced for thousands of years to promote wellness and strength, nowadays it's become an increasingly common choice for folks trying to stay healthy.
There are many different forms and types of yoga, meaning there's a choice for every skill or fitness level. A class can be a good way to learn more and get helpful tips, but there are many online videos and guides that can be useful for getting started.
With yoga, swimming or any other exercise, it's always wise to start slow. This is especially true for anyone living with arthritis or another condition that may elevate the risk of pain or injury. To treat any discomfort, using vibration therapy after a workout is an effective choice. Wraps and other garments from Intellinetix gently massage the body in a way that offers soothing comfort.
One reason walking is such a good form of exercise is that it's free to enjoy. There's no memberships or extra equipment necessary, and from the sidewalk to the mall, almost anywhere around town is a good place for a brisk walk.
Walking is also a great low-impact way to strengthen bones and muscles. At the same time, going out for regular exercise helps ward off heart disease, diabetes and other conditions. Like swimming, this exercise doesn't add too much stress to sensitive joints, meaning arthritis and other conditions won't be exacerbated by regular walking.
Strengthening the body is key for reducing inflammation and discomfort, and when done correctly, weightlifting is especially helpful because it's possible to target specific parts of the body.
The Harvard Medical School stated that for those living with arthritis or other conditions, the best way to avoid injury is to warm up by stretching. This helps promote the flow of essential nutrients and gets muscles and joints ready for a workout. From there, it's crucial to go slowly and increase weight levels very methodically.
A form of martial arts, tai chi is a relaxing exercise that is great because it balances flexibility with strength and overall fitness. This is especially useful because overtime, regularly practicing tai chi reduces pain and stiffness. Like yoga, this is an activity that can be done as a group or at home with the support of online resources.
Overall, to unlock the benefits of any low-impact exercise, it's crucial to work slowly and be mindful of personal limitations. Working too hard could lead to injury or worsen a condition like arthritis. A fitness professional or primary care doctor can offer advice and support for getting started.