Move More, Ache Less

Exercise has many health benefits. Even if you are overweight, have hip or knee injuries, or arthritis, you don’t have to miss out on all the rewards.

In fact, regular physical activity can help to reduce complications associated with both obesity and arthritis.

First, pay attention to how you feel. Swollen joints and overstretched muscles and ligaments are among the top causes of joint pain. Doing too much or moving in the wrong ways can strain both bone and muscle. “Wear and tear” injuries also include the strain of extra weight.

Don’t play favorites

When you’re stiff, do you favor one side of the body over the other? If so, you’re asking some muscles and joints to do more than their fair share. Instead, put all of your muscles to work:

Focus on strengthening the muscles around your painful joint. The stronger they are, the more they can support your joint.

Increase your flexibility by stretching after activity.

Concentrate on letting your muscles relax and contract fully. Otherwise, they can get weaker. That puts you at risk for injury.

Use hiking poles when walking to increase stability, take pressure off joints and add upper body exercise to your walks or hikes.

We all overdo it on occasion. When that happens, we’re tempted to sit on the couch. But exercise may help to get rid of the pain and stiffness. Include walking, swimming or gentle yoga in your routine if you have arthritis or while an injury heals. Being
active is exactly what most of us need to feel better.

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