Joint-Friendly Workouts 101
The Guide to Joint-Friendly Workouts
Joint pain is no joke. Did you know that 23 percent of adults in the United States have arthritis? That’s over 54 million individuals dealing with overwhelming joint pain and struggling to complete daily activities as a result.
Of course, that percentage doesn’t include all of the other people who deal with minor joint pain in their lives or those who could one day develop arthritis after living sedentary lives or dealing with recurrent joint injuries and overuse.
The best way to take care of yourself, whether you already have joint pain or are seeking to prevent it in your daily workouts, is to take charge of your health and build joint-friendly workouts that work best for your body. Here are our favorite tips for incorporating joint-friendly solutions into any workout routine, from biking to skiing exercises.
Start and End Your Workouts Right
Joint-friendly workouts aren't just about the main event. To properly take care of your body, whether you’re planning on getting started with swimming, or skiing exercises, you need to begin and finish your workout in the right way to prepare your body for what it’s going to go through and take care of it so you can recover and do it all again the next day.
Work in a Warm-up
When you take the time to work a warm-up into your exercise routine, blood has a chance to flow to your muscles, and your heart rate starts to increase. Preparing your body by doing a warm-up literally warms up your muscles, ensuring that they are loosened, flexible, and less likely to get tired early in the workout.
The great news is that you only need to find five or ten extra minutes to warm up with, and your muscles and joints will thank you the next day with less soreness, discomfort, and joint pain. Warm-ups come in all shapes and sizes, from yoga to walking, so you’re sure to be able to find one that matches your workout preferences and complements your joint-friendly workouts.
Finish with a Cool-Down
A cool-down is a necessity to give your body a chance to recover after putting it through a workout. You can use the same types of gentle exercises for a cool-down as you do for a warm-up. A cool-down makes for joint-friendly workouts by decreasing post-workout muscle and joint soreness.
Cool-downs are key in regular exercise programs. They aid in recovery, so your body is always up for a new workout, keeping you healthy and in shape long-term.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
If you think a joint-friendly workout starts by jumping straight into stretching, think again. When it comes to joint-friendly workouts, there’s a lot to know about stretching, from when you should do it, how often it needs to be done, and what types of stretches are out there.
- Before Workout Stretches — If you’d like to stretch at the beginning of your workout, make sure to stretch after warming up, not before. If stretching is the first thing you do without doing any warm-up routine, you risk injuring muscles and joints that haven’t had a chance to get warm and loosen up physically.
- After Workout Stretches — If you’d instead stretch after your workout, go right ahead. After a workout, your muscles and joints have had a chance to heat up and won’t be tight and injury-prone. Working stretching into your cool-down routine makes for ideal joint-friendly workouts. Whether you stretch before or after your workout, keep in mind that a good stretch lasts around 30 seconds and is performed in a smooth motion rather than repeatedly jostling yourself into and out of the stretch to prevent injury.
- Range of Motion (ROM) Stretches — ROM stretches help improve how flexible your joints are. These stretches are meant to be performed regularly as part of an exercise routine and customized to your specific goals. You can choose to focus on particular parts of your body, such as your neck or shoulders, and work towards building a greater range of motion for the joints you focus on. Overall, ROM stretches are a significant component to add to joint-friendly workouts because they keep your joints mobile, flexible and prepped for any exercise you throw their way.
Know Your Limits
When you decide to focus on working out and prioritizing joint-friendly workouts, you must learn to recognize when a particular exercise just isn’t right for you so you can stop doing it before an injury occurs. You can expect to feel some discomfort while working out, but you should definitely stop once you feel actual pain while doing an exercise. If you’re unsure, it’s best to stop and consult a doctor or trainer before continuing with the exercise.
To build joint-friendly workouts that are right for you, consider substituting one exercise for alternatives until you find the one that works best for you. For example, traditional weight lifting with barbells might be too hard on your joints, leaving you with significant pain and putting you at risk for injuries. Swap out those weights for skiing exercises with Aeroski and feel the difference! Aeroski lets you work out muscle groups throughout your body without putting stress on your joints like typical weight training.
Increase Your Workouts Gradually
Whether you are just beginning to exercise regularly or are looking to mix up your tried and true workout routine, you should gradually increase your workouts' intensity, duration, and content for the best results. Joint-friendly workouts prioritize the goal of long-term health, so remember to plan for a healthy, pain-free future instead of trying to meet a colossal exercise goal right away. Instead, set smaller goals along the way and adjust them as your exercise abilities improve over time.
Skiing exercises with Aeroski are one option for a gradual introduction to joint-friendly workouts or for building on existing fitness goals. Aeroski’s home fitness machine is programmed with beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels for you to choose from. If you’re new to working out regularly, you can start off with the beginner level by implementing the Fixed Handrails, and work your way up to intermediate once you feel ready to push yourself further. Aeroski makes skiing exercises accessible to those of any fitness level and helps you work your way up to greater strength and endurance when you’re ready.
Try Out Low-Impact Exercises
If you’re looking into the best type of exercise for the joint-friendly workouts you’re planning, low-impact exercises are the ideal type of activity to schedule in between your warm-ups and cooldowns. Low-impact exercises are an alternative to high-impact workouts and are recommended for those with joint issues.
These exercises still keep you active and give you lasting health benefits. It’s always good to have multiple workout options so you can add variety to your exercise routine.
Here are a few examples of low-impact, joint-friendly workouts.
Whether you’re a beginner looking to ease in by taking the scenic route down a bike path through a local park or an active fitness enthusiast hoping to take the pressure off your knees while also barreling down a mountain biking trail, biking can be an excellent addition to joint-friendly workouts. Biking doesn’t stress potential problem regions such as your knees, hips, and ankles, so it could be a good choice if you are prone to joint issues in those areas or want to prevent them from developing.
Swimming can be a great low-impact option for those who have arthritis or joint injuries. While you’re in the water, less pressure is being put on your joints so you can exercise with existing joint issues and prevent future ones from starting. Swimming offers lasting heart-healthy benefits and can be done in pools, lakes, or the ocean, giving you many workout location options.
Swimming and biking are joint-friendly workouts that can even serve as the perfect warm-ups to other forms of low-impact exercise, like skiing exercises with Aeroski!
Skiing Exercises with Aeroski
Traditional skiing exercises that take place on the snow-covered slopes are high-impact activities, but Aeroski skiing exercises are different. Aeroski offers a low-impact workout that engages the same muscle groups as regular downhill skiing.
With Aeroski, you can focus on training to work your way up to outdoor skiing, maintaining your skiing skills in the off-season for less joint pain when you get back on the ski lift, or you can find the perfect comfortable, low-impact alternative that simulates the motion of skiing while giving your joints a break year-round.
When you immerse yourself in skiing exercises with Aeroski, you get to work out your entire body from the comfort of your own home. The best part is that Aeroski is great for people of any fitness level, and is the perfect choice for a joint-friendly workout machine. Aeroski is also lightweight and simple to put together, so moving it around and setting it up is simple — even if you’re struggling with joint pain.
If regular exercise routines aren’t giving you the variety and fun you crave in a workout, consider the immersive, virtual experience that comes along with Aeroski. Every Aeroski customer is given a pair of VR goggles and ski poles along with their Aeroski machine. Try out Aeroski with VR for all of the fun of skiing, complete with gorgeous alpine scenery, without the high-impact, hard-on-your-joints drawbacks of traditional outdoor skiing!