Most of us know that regular exercise is super important for good health. But what about the health of your joints? Have you ever taken up running, high-impact aerobics, tennis or basketball and felt aches in your knees, hips or ankles afterward? These aches and pains can even be extreme enough to discourage you from exercising altogether.
Fortunately, there are alternatives! You don’t need to give up physical activity completely if you have joint problems–or even if you just want to prevent joint problems down the road. Whether you prefer to work out with a group or on your own, there are plenty of exercise options out there that are gentle on your joints, yet still provide an excellent workout. Read on for some of the best joint-friendly exercises you can do.
Gentle-Joint Options for Solo Exercisers
If you prefer to exercise on your own, you may find the following low-impact workouts to be a good way to keep fit and active while protecting your joints.
1. Whole body vibration training
Whole body vibration is a form of exercise in which you sit, stand or lie on a vibrating machine that sends energy waves into your muscles, which causes them to contract and relax many thousands of times. Because your muscles are constantly working at a high rate, whole body vibration training helps you lose weight, burn fat and stay fit–all in as little as 15 minutes per day. Best of all, whole body vibration does not require any pounding of your joints; it is completely no-impact. (link: Â PubMed)
There’s a reason many former runners become swimmers later in life! Unlike running, swimming is easy on the joints. It provides a full-body workout, improves cardiovascular health and is a great choice for solo exercisers.
Cycling is another gentle-joint activity. While you can bicycle with a group, cycling can also be a peaceful solo sport. This no-impact activity tones the lower body with none of the pounding of other sports.