The last thing you want to do when your joints hurt is exercise. In fact, you might not even want to hear about it.
But it helps. In fact, it might help more than anything.
The right exercises performed properly might be the solution for any type of joint pain. I’m talking ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and elbow. And the stuff that works doesn’t even have to be specialized. Simply getting more activity can relieve pain and potentially delay or prevent the need for surgery.
There is one caveat to the effectiveness of exercise, and that’s consistency. If it’s not a regular part of your life, it won’t do much for you. This can be a big problem because the hardest parts of an exercise routine are getting started and making time.
To get your daily dose of exercise, you’ll need a plan and a little motivation. Here are four ways to help you include activity into your day to promote healthier pain-free joints.
Make time: If you’re spending a lot of time in front of the television, start replacing a few of your less enjoyable 30-minute sitcoms with exercise. If sports are your thing, go for a walk during the pre-game show or at breaks in the game. You can also exercise while watching.
If your day is too packed, think about getting up 30 minutes earlier. Using that extra half hour can allow you some time to get up and at it, or at least clear some space later in the day. If you can’t piece together 30 straight minutes, split exercise into three 10 or two 15 fifteen-minute intervals.
Remove your options: You can build exercise into your day by electing to make a few sacrifices. Start taking the stairs instead of elevators or escalators, for example. Get off the bus or subway a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way. Walk to do errands in reasonable distances, or choose a parking space that allows you to walk to multiple locations. When talking on the phone, walk around, or perform movements like ankle extensions.
Find a buddy: Working out with a partner can make things more enjoyable and keep you more accountable.
Find alternatives: If the weather is a drawback, you don’t have to exercise outside. People put off by cold or damp temperatures can drive to the local mall to do laps, find a gym close by, or take an exercise class.
Activity has the potential to relieve joint pain now and into the future!
Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s of forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. This article was first published on Bel Marra Health.