Take the weight off – Exercises for healthy joints and muscles

Allowing you flexible movement, cushioning impact and giving you support and strength throughout your whole life, the joints in your body are incessantly subjected to wear and tear; youth bestows pain-free movement and stamina to the young and care-free, a gift older generations sorely miss. As we age, our cartilage, the tissue between joints in the body, wears thinner, sometimes allowing bone to make contact with adjacent bone. This can cause pain, stiffness and inflammation. Too many of us jump to the conclusion that such discomfort means we have to refrain from activities we love causing us to retire from much-loved hobbies and activities. Many head for Orthopaedic surgery for a joint replacement without considering that there might be other options to avoid surgery. In truth, there is a range of exercises which can help support painful joints, strengthening the adjoining muscles, giving additional support to joints and limiting further erosion of cartilage, whatever stage of degeneration you believe your joints have reached. There is significant evidence to prove that low impact exercise, weight training and aerobic exercise strengthens remaining cartilage, increasing the size and the density of accessory muscles, improving movement range and thereby minimising joint rigidity.

Yoga

A brilliant way to increase strength and flexibility, improving ones presence of mind and ease the way into a new day. Yoga comes top of the list with physiotherapists when it comes to strengthening and reconditioning the muscles supporting the joints. Beneficial for the relief of general pain, in addition to addressing symptoms associated with other problems such as tendonitis and osteoarthritis, the calming breathing routines of yoga reduce the bodies inflammatory stress response and the gentle flowing postures of yoga facilitate increased blood flow to damaged muscles, assisting tissue repair.

Boxing

An incredibly efficient calorie burner, boxing is a quick way to shed additional weight which could be putting unnecessary strain on the bodies muscles. Increasing metabolism, giving mental focus and relieving the tension which could also be contributing to toxic buildups of lactic acid in the muscles, boxing need not put excessive strain on the body . Practice sparring with a friend or family member at home, get familiar with the techniques used to move the body from side to side, strengthing core stability and increasing cardiovascular output. Punching bags are an inexpensive and time-effective way to squeeze exercise into a busy schedule. Pack a few punches before dinner or wind down from a hard week with a session; Boxing is a quick way to get fit!

Swimming

The number one choice of sportspeople the world over, swimming is an entirely no-impact exercise. A highly effective way of rehabilitating muscle strain and injuries, when all other exercises can feel overwhelming, swimming can feel revelatory. Allowing muscles to be strengthened comfortably when suspended in water stiffness and soreness are eased and, much like yoga, focus on the breath allows discomfort to be worked through and controlled. A brilliant way to rebuild the muscles supporting knee joints, moving through the water weightlessly, all pressure is removed and flexibility can be expressed and restored. Be sure to pop into the sauna and hot tub after you’ve completed a few lengths; Evidence has demonstrated that warm water therapy has a positive impact on inflation, increased mobility and generally enhanced feelings of well being.

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