by Amber White

ChiroHealthUSA Social Media Specialist

Let’s face it. For those of us who aren’t teenagers anymore, continuous forms of physical activity can cause stress on our aging joints.  But just because you are mature in age doesn’t mean you have to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Here are a few ways you can protect your joints before, and during, your exercise program.

Use heat on your joints and muscles to help relax them before you start exercising. Heating treatments can include a warm towel, a shower, or heating packs. Treatments should be no longer than 20 minutes.

Start with a gentle joint warm-up session. Begin with range-of-motion exercises for a minimum of 5 minutes before you increase to aerobic or strengthening workouts.

 Consider starting with low impact exercises such as a stationary bike, treadmill, or water aerobics, to help keep joint stress low. At the first twinge of discomfort, take a break. You don’t want to agitate an inflamed joint further. Sharp pain, redness, or swelling, could be a sign that something deeper is wrong. 

Ice down your joints for 20 minutes after physical activity to reduce swelling.  If your joints are sore for more than 2 hours after exercise, it might be a sign that you were working out too strenuously and might need to pull back to avoid exerting yourself.

Most importantly, remember to trust your instincts. Don’t exert more energy than you think you can handle. Following these tips, and consulting your physician, will have you moving pain-free again in no time.