Living with pain can make even the most routine physical activities difficult. If even walking from the bedroom to the bathroom has become a painful struggle, engaging in regular physical activity is the way to get moving again. That probably sounds counter-intuitive. Yet, regular physical activity has the potential to increase mobility, improve health, and reduce pain. Here are the best activities to get you moving again.
Swimming and other water exercises are frequently pain-free for someone with arthritis. Why? The water supports most of your body weight. That relieves pressure on your joints. If you're not a swimmer, walking in the pool can be beneficial too.
Walking is low-impact, which makes it joint-friendly for those who have arthritis. Walking can make your muscles stronger and improve balance. The key is starting slowly. Walking five minutes a day is a good place to begin. Then gradually add more minutes until you reach 30 minutes each day.
When you're cycling, your legs don't bear your weight. That makes cycling a great alternative to walking for people with knee pain. Like walking, cycling is a low-impact activity that improves balance and heart health. Cycling strengthens the muscles in your legs, abdomen, arms, and shoulders. Riding a bike releases endorphins, the body's feel-good chemicals. Also, endorphins lower your perception of pain.
Muscles usually weaken as people age. Lifting weights can counteract the impact of aging on your muscles. Weight training can increase bone mass, improve range of motion, and strengthen muscles. As your muscles get stronger, the stress on your joints decreases.
It's always wise to consult your physician before starting an exercise. If your mobility issues are severe, your doctor may recommend working with a physical therapist to create a tailored exercise program.
To learn more about physical therapy and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.
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