Injuries often happen during exercise, and the most common cause is overuse of the joints. For example, running is healthy for you, but it can cause joint inflammation in the long run if you don’t listen to your body.
Exercise can be disastrous for your joints if you are not careful when starting a new activity or continuing with an action that your body cannot handle. Use the following tips to protect your joints as you exercise.
Don’t rush into it
Exercising is vital for your health and well-being, but it will do you no good if you spend most of your precious time in recovery. The problem is that many people start a new exercise or sport before their body is ready. You will hurt yourself if you are not careful when you start a new routine, or if you unwisely push your body too hard during an exercise.
So make sure to listen to your body and get the help of a trainer. Start with very low intensity if you start a new activity or exercise after a long break.
Don’t overdo it
Exercising too much and in the wrong way can lead to injuries such as pulled muscles, strained muscles, torn ligaments and tendons, joint strains, and sprains. Spending too much time exercising can also cause your joints to lose their flexibility and strength over time.
If you do not exercise in the right way for the first few days, your joints may be more prone to injury. The best way to avoid joint injuries is to make sure that you are not overexerting yourself and join an online personal training program.
Stretch before and after exercise
Your joints should be flexible when you exercise. This will not only prevent injuries, but will also help you avoid muscle strains, tendinitis, and other painful conditions. So, your muscles must be well stretched before exercising. One good way is to use a foam roller or a self-massager. These tools can help you give your body a gentle stretch, roll out the muscle knots, and also relax the muscles.
Wear suitable shoes for exercise
Staying active is essential for your health, but it’s vital to protect your body as you exercise. If you plan to jog or run, wear the right shoes; your joints will thank you later. A good pair of shoes will protect your feet and prevent injuries caused by too much pressure on specific areas of the feet.
Ideally, you should choose running or walking shoes made with breathable material that is also cushioning at the same time. You can also use insoles that will help you protect your joints from unwanted pressure.
Warm-up before exercising
Warming up is crucial because it prepares the muscles and joints for the day’s activity. During a warm-up, the body’s movement is more fluid, allowing the muscles and joints to work together more efficiently. If you don’t warm up, you may experience joint pain during exercise or even serious injuries, like torn tendons or ligaments.
Luckily, warming up doesn’t take much of your time. You only have to move your body a little before starting the actual exercise. A few minutes of brisk walking or jogging can help your body prepare for the workout.
Adjust your workouts
Variety is good when working out. However, most traditional exercises can be adjusted or modified to offer better care for painful joints. For instance, instead of doing planks with your hands on the ground, you can try to place yourself on your forearms, which will then eliminate the strain and pressure from your wrist and shoulders. In addition, you can utilize props to keep unwanted pressure off your weight-bearing joints; for instance, doing pushups while a yoga bock is under your hands.
Before starting your workout, you might feel like your knees are stiff. Consider applying a hot cloth or using a heat compressor. Heat treatments improve the flow of blood, which then reduces joint pain and makes you ready for your workout routine.
Choose a joint-friendly workout
If the workout routine you always do triggers joint pain, consider doing a more joint-friendly workout like riding a bike or off-road skiing. Choose exercise activities that will make you sweat without stressing your joints. Besides, you can always swim or take part in any aquatic exercise; they are ideal workouts that won’t put a strain on your joints.
Mix up your routine
Most people enjoy a particular type of exercise, and while it is good to concentrate on a workout that gives you the best results, don’t limit your choices. Remember that working on the same joints and muscles for a long period will put too much pressure and strain on them. This said, consider doing exercises that target different muscle groups and joints.
Consume an anti-inflammatory diet
Did you know that what you eat has a big impact on your weight-bearing joints? And if you frequently experience joint pain while working out, you should consider an anti-inflammatory diet to relieve your discomfort.
Also, an anti-inflammatory diet is not a special type of meal. It is just a nice name for saying you eat healthy and unprocessed meals, particularly those that will help you reduce inflammation—for instance, fish, kale, various berries, and whole grains.
Rest is crucial when it comes to avoiding joint injury when exercising. So, take occasional days off from your routine. If you are like most people out there, you were inspired when you started working out, and it can be very easy to exaggerate your love for a workout.
However, this can result in joint pain and injury, especially because your body cannot adapt to the new routine. So, take your time and give your body a good rest when starting something new.
Learn How to Protect your Joints Today
Joints are not just helpful in supporting the movements of your body, but they also allow you to move freely. If you want to be healthy and active, you must keep your joints in good condition.
Regular exercise can protect your joints, but it’s important to pay attention to prevent unnecessary stress. By following the few tips highlighted above, you can protect yourself against injury and keep your joints healthy.
To learn more about the best way to protect your joints while exercising or even how to achieve your fitness goals, reach out to Nathan DeMetz today.
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.
To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!