If you suffer from arthritis or any other kind of joint pain, high-impact exercises such as running and jumping may not be an option for you. But this doesn’t mean you can’t still get fit and stay healthy.
Exercise can strengthen your muscles, improve your lung and heart health, help keep your weight within a healthy range, and improve your sleep. In some circumstances, it can even help ease your pain over the long term.
We’ve collated a list of four of our favorite low-impact workouts for people with joint pain.
Swimming is a low-impact workout that helps to tone and strengthen the entire body. You don’t need any equipment except a swimsuit and possibly a pair of goggles. You can swim laps or, if you prefer, take part in a group exercise class such as water aerobics.
The water both supports your weight and acts as resistance, so you’ll get a full body workout for almost no impact.
Whether you head out for a ride on the trails or take part in a spinning class at the gym, riding a bike is a low-impact form of exercise that still gets your heart beating, burns calories, and tones the muscles in your legs.
Start out gently and ensure that the saddle and handlebars are at the right height for you. If you’re riding outside, always wear a helmet. If you’re suffering from leg pain or recovering from injury, leg sleeves can help you as you ease back in.
Yoga is a form of exercise based on ancient practices involving breathing, movement, and meditation. It improves your strength and flexibility, and the more intense varieties such as power yoga can also burn some serious calories.
Yoga is great for mental wellbeing as well as physical fitness. Practicing yoga for as little as 20 minutes can leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and less stressed.
Grab your mat and find a free workout on Youtube (we love Yoga with Adriene) or join a beginners’ class at your gym.
Running can be rough on your joints, but walking is much gentler and safer for people who suffer from any kind of joint pain. If you don’t currently walk much, try going out for just 20 minutes per day. From there, you can gradually increase the amount you’re doing.
A pedometer (step counter) such as a Fitbit can help you keep track of how much you’re walking. And if you want to go extra gently on your knees, a knee sleeve can help reduce pain without impacting your movement.
Enjoy getting fit—and stay safe!