Working out in your 20’s is a whole lot easier than in your 40’s or 50’s. With an increase in age, achy knees and sore muscles discourage exercise. What you need is an iron will and not-so-achy knees to move around.
Research has shown that regular exercise reduces inflammation associated with arthritis and also increases your pain threshold. Exercise strengthens the muscles around the joints and also increases blood flow to the joint, both of which contribute to minimizing discomfort.
It may seem like an uphill task to move your body when you have joint pain, but making a few simple changes to your workout routine can make it pain-free and enjoyable for you.
Hydrate Your Fascia
Fascia is an elastic, web-like, fibrous connective tissue that supports, binds or separates your other tissues, organs, and joints. This fascia acts as a cushion for your joints and helps protect them from impact during exercise.
However, as you age, it tends to get brittle and dry, losing its cushioning effect. A foam roller, at this point, comes in handy. Using a foam roller and gently compressing your affected area, rehydrates the fascia by stimulating its cells and helping fluid move back into the cells.
Research has shown that using a foam roller before and after your workout greatly minimizes discomfort.
Mix Up Your Workouts
Mixing up your workouts is a good idea to avoid boredom and burnout. But did you know that it is one of the best ways to avoid over-use injuries and achy joints? Muscles take on the brunt of any exercise that you do, but with over-use injury, they get weak.
After muscles, it is the joints that receive the impact. Mixing up high-intensity workouts like running with something more gentle like swimming or Pilates is a good way to protect your joints and muscles from over-use injury. Water exercises are all the rage now.
The buoyancy of water minimizes body weight on the joint and also reduces joint impact. An added bonus is that water provides resistance, helping in an increase in muscle strength.
Always Warm-up Before You Start Your Exercise
Many people skip the most important part of the exercise: a warm-up. Jumping into a workout without a warm-up makes you vulnerable to joint pain, especially if you are in your 40’s. Tissue flexibility and joint mobility decrease as you age.
A thorough pre-exercise warm-up accommodates these changes. Remember, joints hurt more when muscles and tendons are stiff. A 5-minute warm-up is all you need to fire up your muscles. So, never skip out on a warm-up and have a pain-free workout.
Find the Cardio Workout That Works Best for You
Nobody knows your body like you do. Cardio is an important form of exercise. It increases blood flow, increases brain-muscle coordination and is great for losing weight. In order to avoid joint pain, start from the least impactful movement and slowly progress to the point where your joints start complaining.
This is the breaking point. Everyone has a different breaking point, so never compare. Activities ranked by the least to most impactful include swimming, recumbent bike, upright bike, elliptical, treadmill and outdoor running.
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Alternate Upper and Lower Body Exercises
Generally, it is advised to work the smaller and bigger muscles alternatively, as your smaller muscles stabilize the bigger muscles. However, exercising your upper and lower body muscles alternatively is a better option.
This way, your joints get a longer break in between. Even when you are using weights, it is recommended to work your upper and lower body on alternate days to reduce stress on your joints.
Always Stretch After a Workout
Stretching out after a workout is just as important as warming up before a workout, but it is just as easy to skip, as well. If you do not stretch out after a workout, your joints will ultimately pay the price as stiff muscles decrease the range of motion within the joints.
When you stretch, make sure you do not bounce and hold each stretch for at least 20-30 seconds.
Modify Your Exercises
Planks or push-ups are a great way to tighten and strengthen your core. However, both planks and push-ups put undue pressure on your wrist joints. To avoid injury, try doing a plank by resting on your forearms.
You can modify your push-ups by using dumb-bells to hold on to, instead of your hands. Remember, you can modify your exercise according to your own flexibility and strength.
Modify Your Range of Motion
You can ease your joint pain, during exercise, by reducing your range of motion. This works well for both upper and lower body exercises. When you are doing squats, make sure not to bend your knees below 90 degrees angle to minimize knee joint impact.
To prevent shoulder pain, avoid overhead presses. You can strengthen shoulders by keeping your palms up during lateral raises.
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Include Yoga or Pilates
Yoga and Pilates have gained popularity over the past few years and with good reason. They are not only gentle on joints, but they increase stability and flexibility of the joints as well.
They improve body awareness and balance while minimizing joint impact. Yoga has been shown to work well for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as it not only reduces swelling but has also been shown to reduce inflammation as well.
Exercise should always be a part of one’s life, but know your body’s limits and do not push it beyond it. Add PhenQ in your diet and see the difference. Here’s to safe exercising!