Now that the weather has finally warmed up, you are probably spending more of your activity time outside. A lot of that time could potentially put a strain on your joints. What outdoor activities can you enjoy that will place a minimal strain on your body while still getting you some physical activity and time out in the sun? Here are a few suggestions you may enjoy.
Go for a Swim
Swimming is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the warmer weather without overheating. According to one study, swimming can be good even for those with arthritis. The study even showed that the low impact activity helped to improve mood. Swimming is a great way to get the exercise and outdoor time that you need without the pain later.
Go for a (Bicycle) Ride
Biking is a great cardiovascular activity that puts minimal strain on your joints. The key is to ride the correct size bike for you with the right position handles. Your toes should barely touch the ground when you are standing still—just enough to balance. You don’t want your knees coming up too high when you pedal. Upright handlebars can help you to avoid leaning on your arms and shoulders too much while you ride. This is a perfect way to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, get exercise, and minimize joint strain all at the same time.
Go for a Walk
Walking is good for a person both mentally and physically. Plus, it is very low impact. Wearing the right shoes is important. Running and walking shoes support the foot in a different way, so don’t think that running shoes are automatically better just because they are often more expensive. Remember too that a paved path will be easier on your joints than an uneven trail through the woods.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
If you are focused on avoiding joint pain, you are going to want to stretch before and after any activities that you pursue. Stretching beforehand warms the muscle up so you don’t go directly from sedentary to full activity. Stretching after helps the muscles to wind down so that built up body chemicals don’t cause soreness later.
If You Do Experience Joint Pain
Sometimes even healthy activities can result in a repetitive strain injury. If after your best efforts you still end up experiencing joint pain, don’t forget that Dr. Ward is always available with same-day appointments.