Don’t Let Pain Slow You Down...

Submitted by Marina Hodson

If you are anything like me, the changing weather will increase any discomfort you may have in your joints and make it awfully tempting to look for comfort on the couch, but this is likely the worst approach to take.

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While movement may feel uncomfortable, it is vital in reducing joint pain, increasing strength and flexibility and helping to combat fatigue.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to run a marathon, even mild to moderate exercise will help.

Start slowly with range-of-motion exercises including stretching and try low impact activities such as Tai Chi or walking.  If able, move up to include strengthening exercises to build muscle and protect joints.  Avoid working the same muscle groups two days in a row and rest between workouts, particularly if your joints are painful or swollen.  Once you have two or three days per week of strength training in your routine, add aerobic exercises.  Try low impact activities such as swimming and split it into 10 minute intervals if you find it is easier on your joints.

Remember to keep it low impact and apply heat to sore joints prior to exercising to relax stiff joints.  Take a break if you are experiencing pain and apply ice after activity if needed.  Don’t overdo it and trust your body, but remember that exercise truly is one of the best things you can do for your sore joints – even if it does seem counterintuitive at first.

 So get active and keep moving.

Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT