Reduce tiredness and stiffness by keeping your joints flexible and lubricated. Avoid the onset of arthritis and joint pain by intentionally moving every day. Staying active releases synovial fluid, the body’s own lubricant that cushions joints, protecting bones from wear and tear. A daily flexing routine will enable you to stay fit and energized. Building muscle will also support joints as well as keep you strong. Try these eight moves for flexible joints.
Make a splash! Going for a swim is a great way to strengthen joints and build muscle. The water helps to reduce the risk of strain and joint irritation. As a swimmer, you will be able to get a great range of motion. Try a backstroke or basic swim stroke, lubricating and flexing joints. Find a local indoor pool near you that has a staff of certified swimming instructors that will show you the correct way to have fun in the water while staying fit.
Riding a bike is a low-impact exercise that is great for moving joints and keeping you active. Whether you ride a stationary bike indoors, or hit the bike path outdoors, a regular bike riding regime will keep you flexible and fit. Biking is suitable for all ages and is great to do as a group activity. If you don’t own a bike, find a place that rents bikes so that you can enjoy the great outdoors. A 30 minute daily bike ride is recommended to keep joints in tip top condition. Wear a helmet and get going!
3. Strength Training
Always a great way to stay in shape and remain flexible, strength training can target all muscle groups in a single exercise routine. Mix it up. For a complete joint workout, incorporate hand and ankle weights (as your fitness level allows) for added results. For an advanced routine begin with a 10-20 minute stretching routine, followed by 30 minutes of a combination of planks, jumping jacks, knee lifts and running in place. End with 10-20 minutes of cooling stretches.
The stretching exercises incorporated in a basic Yoga routine are ideal for lubricating joints and keeping them flexible. A good stretch when you rise in the morning is a good start to being flexible. Begin by gently extending arms, followed by controlled arm and leg swings/slow back kicks. Avoid jerking motions and moves that strain.
The best exercise for keeping joints bendable is walking. New studies show that walking not only improves joint pain and agitation, it can renew overall health and well-being. You can control the intensity of walking by moving our arms and walking at a faster (or slower) pace.
A daily routine consisting of a 30 minute callisthenic routine is idle to keep you flexible. Depending upon your fitness level, choose calisthenics that challenge you but don’t strain. Easy calisthenics include toe touches, back leg kicks, arm rolls, and leg lifts. Consistency is important with calisthenics so that muscles stay flexed; if you suddenly stop working out, you may find that muscles will become tight and rigid. Keep moving!
Pilates offers increased balance, strength, and flexibility; connecting your mind to your body’s movements. A low intensity, low impact workout that may amaze you. Pilates embraces all age groups, at all stages of joint discomfort. Begin slowly as you feel the release of toxins from your body and the onset of fluid joints. If you are unsure about how to begin a Pilates workout, sign up for a Pilates class near you. Certified Pilates instructors can show you how to maintain flexibility throughout your lifetime, no matter your age.
8. Tai Chi
For centuries Tai Chi has been known for its flowing movement and relaxing benefits. Used in ancient times by kings and emperors to stay in tune with their bodies, Tai Chi brings mind and body together for a collective workout. Great for all age and fitness levels, Tai Chi significantly helps to keep knees, elbows, and other joints lubricated. The fluid movements do not stress joints in a way that other exercises may do. Try a 10 minute Tai Chi regime to better joints.
Eating right and watching your weight also helps joint health. Avoid irritable inflammation and joint pain by staying active. Take breaks from sitting too long. Go for a walk or get up and stretch when possible. Always check with your fitness professional or health care provider for specific exercises that is in your own fitness level. Do not over extend or exert, you don’t want to damage joints.