How your joints benefit from exercise
Posted on 7th Feb 2018 @ 3:47 AM
Physical activity has many benefits for the body; people choose to exercise to keep fit and to feel and look good. Along with the visible positive impacts, exercise also improves your body in areas that you cannot see, for example in your joints. There are several types of exercise that can benefit your joints, from low-impact aerobics to muscle strengthening exercises such as yoga and resistance training (CDCP, 2017). High impact activity in particular helps to build and maintain joint strength; however, most kinds of physical activity will benefit your joints in some way (International Osteoporosis Foundation, undated).
Why do joints need exercise?
Joints are the physical connections between bones, surrounded by ligaments and tendons that join bone to bone, and bone to muscle. There are many types of joints in the body that give you the ability to move, such as synovial joints, ball and socket joints, and pivot joints (Very Well, 2017).
Like most elements of your body, your joints can benefit greatly from exercise. Movement helps to lubricate joints, ultimately reduce swelling or pain in damaged joints and improve conditions such as arthritis. If you think of your joints like mechanical cogs, the less they move over time, the more likely they are to seize up.
From cleaning the house to putting on your shoes, stiff joints can turn even the simplest of daily tasks into a mission impossible. Exercise can often be the last thing on your mind when your joints are having a bad day, but light stretching activity can improve your flexibility and keep your joints lubricated (Arthritis Foundation, undated).
Low-impact stretching activities, such as beginner’s yoga, can strengthen the muscles around your joints, providing some much-needed pain relief for damaged joints (Art of Living, 2017). The beauty of yoga is that you can adapt the poses to your needs, so the more you practice this spiritual sport, the more you can push yourself and improve your level of flexibility over time.
Toughening up your connective tissues
Ligaments and tendons are tough connective tissues that act as the glue that holds your body together; ligaments attach bones to bones while tendons attach muscle to bone. The mobility of a joint is determined by many factors, the ligaments and tendons surrounding it (US National Library of Medicine, 2016). Both muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercises can help to strengthen these tissues, and the more they are stimulated, the less likely you are to have a joint-related injury (Health in Ageing, 2017). So, exercising regularly helps to your ligaments, enhancing your joint health by allowing them to reach a full range of mobility without damaging themselves or overextending.
Balance your way to stable joints
Having a good sense of balance improves your overall movement, while stabilizing your core and increasing mental focus. Your joints can benefit from good balance as it is easier to move without experiencing pain, and accidents are less likely to occur. Good balance also stops you from overextending or arching your body in an uncomfortable way that could lead to injury (AHA, 2014). Many joint-friendly exercises aid with your balance, from yoga poses to using a balance ball, as they can improve your ability to control movement and coordination.
If you have joint problems and are overweight, consider participating in regular exercise to help you lose those extra pounds and put your joints at ease. Certain light physical activities, such as walking or swimming, can improve your range of motion and flexibility once you start to lose weight, allowing you to bend and stretch more easily with less strain on your joints.What else can you do for joint health?
As well as exercise, there are many other ways that you can enhance your joint health. Diet is one of them; plenty of dark, leafy greens, olive oil and citrus fruits are just some of the many foods that are perfect to enhance healthy joints.
Consuming joint-boosting nutrients can help to build stronger, more agile joints. Taking supplements, such as Move Free® Ultra Triple Action, can support joint, cartilage and bone health with three powerful ingredients. These ingredients are Type II Collagen, Boron and Hydraulic Acid, to help provide greater freedom of movement*.
AHA (2014) Balance Exercise
Art of Living (2017) How Yoga Can Keep You Away from Joint Pain
Arthritis Foundation (undated) A New Way to Stretch
CDCP (2017) Physical Activity for Arthritis
Health in Ageing (2017) Joint Problems
International Osteoporosis Foundation (undated) Exercise Recommendations
US National Library of Medicine (2016) How do joints work?
Very Well (2017) What is the Definition of a Joint