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This Month In Body
  • Not Worth the Risk
    While many mistakes don’t have lasting consequences, some do. Especially in the gym. Next time you’re at the gym, proceed with caution before you try any of the following exercises. They may not be worth the risk. Read >>
  • Stick to It
    When you feel like quitting, sleeping in, or cancelling your personal trainer, think twice. Because no matter what you may think in the moment, your health is worth more than whatever temptation you’re facing. Read >>
  • Be Kind to Your Joints
    If you’ve got weak or painful joints, it’s best to avoid high-impact exercises that place extra pressure or strain on your joints. But don’t give up on exercise. Practice joint-friendly, low-impact activities, such as these. Read >>
  • Make Exercise Fun Again
    Wish you enjoyed working out more than you do? You can. Here are five things to add to your routine to keep you coming back to exercise day after day. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Be Kind to Your Joints

Go-to exercises for those who exercise with their joints in mind.

Your joints are where two or more bones come together to allow your body parts to move. Major joints include the knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, spine, hands, and feet. As you age, the cartilage that covers and cushions the bones that meet at joints may wear down and weaken. In addition, the membrane that surrounds your joints may thicken and become inflamed, only adding to your problem. And arthritis and inflammation may set in.

Without your natural shock-absorbers doing their job to protect your joints, certain movements and exercises may become painful or worsen your condition. If you’ve got weak or painful joints, it’s best to avoid high-impact exercises that place extra pressure or strain on your joints. But don’t give up on exercise. You can still burn calories and stay healthy. You’ll just need to practice joint-friendly, low-impact activities. Here are a few to get you started.

#1: Walking

The most popular low-impact exercise is walking. It’s simple, convenient, and requires no special equipment. Because it’s so simple, many question whether walking will provide the fitness results they’re looking for. Here are a few ways to step things up a notch in your walking workout.

First, pick up the pace and walk faster. Need more intensity? Add intervals. Do this by alternating between walking at a brisk pace or going up hills for short periods of time and walking at a slower pace, downhill, or on level ground. You should also swing your arms as you walk or consider using walking poles. Don’t carry weights as you walk, as this can do more damage than good.

#2: Hiking

If you’re tired of walking on the treadmill or around the block, hit the trails for a low-impact workout. You’ll get the added benefit of enjoying fresh air and time out in nature. Hiking, especially up and down hills, is a great way to work your lower body muscles. Carrying a backpack adds to the intensity and calorie burn.

#3: Stationary Cycling

It can be hard finding a low-impact workout that torches calories, but stationary cycling fits the bill. Cycle at a vigorous pace, and you’ll burn up to 700 calories in an hour. Add interval training to your cycling workout and your calorie burn will get even higher, both during and after your workout. Need some motivation? Join a spin class in person or virtually.

#4: Strength Training

Whether you’re lifting weights, doing bodyweight exercises, or using battle ropes or elastic bands, resistance training can provide a safe, low-impact way to get exercise, strengthen bones, build muscle, and burn calories. Just be careful. Certain strength-training exercises have high impact. Work with your trainer to develop a routine that focuses on safe, compound exercises for the best bang for your buck.

#5: Rowing

Rowing is an effective low-impact cardio exercise. No matter if you’re on a rowing machine or in a boat, you’ll get a full body workout that tones your upper and lower body muscles. As an added perk, it does it without the risk of injury associated with high-impact exercises. At a steady stroke rate of 150 watts, you’ll burn more than 700 calories in an hour.

#6: Swimming

Looking for one of the best workouts that protects weak or painful joints? You can’t do better than swimming. Thanks to the buoyancy of water, there is practically no pressure on your joints. While you can burn serious calories swimming laps, you don’t have to go back and forth. Anything you do in the water provides a variety of ways to get an effective full-body workout. So walk, swim, or do aerobics. You’ll feel better and so will your joints!