Staying active is one of the best things you can do to ease joint pain. That’s because movement improves your circulation, allowing your blood to flow more freely and nourishing your joints with nutrients and oxygen. Movement also activates the genes responsible for repairing the cartilage in your joints and triggers a process that removes damaged cells—all of which can help relieve your pain and heal the underlying injury or condition.
Now that summer is almost upon us, you’ll have more opportunities than ever to get outside and enjoy some refreshing exercise. Here are a few fun outdoor activities you can try to get your blood pumping and help keep joint pain at bay.
Take a calming walk in the park
While exercise is one of the best ways to ease joint pain, over-exerting yourself can have the opposite effect. Thankfully, there’s very little risk of over-exerting yourself on a casual stroll through the park.
If you haven’t done a lot of walking recently, or if your knees, hips, or ankles are especially sore, start slow and be gentle with yourself. Build up to a 30-minute walk every day, and if you feel like you’re ready for more, feel free to step it up with longer walks and a brisker stride. The great things about walking in the park is that there are usually plenty of benches around if you need to take a little break before you continue. Plus, the scenery is beautiful, and this exercise is completely free!
Enjoy a cooling swim in an outdoor pool
Swimming is the perfect combination of exercise and relaxation—and it can work wonders on your joints. When you’re swimming, you’re using all of your muscles without bearing any weight, which makes this exercise especially easy on your joints.
Find a nice outdoor pool so you can soak up some rays while you’re giving your joints the TLC they deserve. Even just walking around in the water can help strengthen your joints and reduce pain. But if you’re looking for something more involved, consider joining a water aerobics class—it’s a great way to meet new people and make exercise fun.
Find zen with outdoor yoga
Along with swimming, yoga—especially hatha and restorative yoga—can be one of the best forms of exercise for joint pain. It eases discomfort by strengthening the muscles around your joints and increasing your flexibility. It’s also really relaxing.
The fact that yoga is adaptable means it can be safe for everyone, as long as you take care of yourself. When you attend a yoga class, make sure to tell the instructor about your injury or pain points so they can help you practice safely.
If you can find an outdoor yoga class, or if you know enough to practice on your own in the garden, doing yoga out in the summer sun can be a great exercise for the season. And since sunlight contributes to better muscle health, you’ll really be getting the most from your practice!
Don’t let sore joints ruin your summer fun
Joint pain can keep you from fully enjoying your summer. At the Spine & Joint Center, we specialize in minimally invasive alternative treatment options that have helped many patients find healing and relief. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, contact us today or learn more here.