A lot of people focus on their fitness without taking the time to consider how their fitness routines impact on their joints. Of course, running and cycling are great, but you should make sure you are looking after your joints too.
If you regularly exercise without thinking about your joints and your flexibility, they’ll start to get stiff and ache. This is not only bad for your long-term health and fitness, but it will also make it very difficult for you to exercise properly in the short-term. Neither of these things is good, so here’s how you can improve the health of your joints and your flexibility.
Stretching is important to do as part of your warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after your main workout. It makes it much less likely that you’ll injure yourself or get that horrible aching in your joints the morning after. Before you exercise, stretch all the muscles you’ll be working and do the same afterwards to ease them back into a relaxed mode.
There are other ways in which stretching can help though. A lot of people now see stretching as an ordinary part of their fitness routine, and not just a way of warming up. If you stretch your joints and muscles each day, they’ll get stronger and more resilient over time, making you more flexible too.
Your joints can be severely damaged by the impact they feel when your feet hit the floor during vigorous exercise like running. This is why swimming can be such a great alternative to exercises like running. In the water, you’re weightless, and your joints will be put under no pressure at all because your body never impacts with the floor.
On top of all that, swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise that gets your pulse raised and your blood pumping! If you can successfully combine regular swimming with running, you could be onto a winning fitness formula.
Keeping Fit Generally
Your general fitness needs to be looked after alongside your joints. It would be a mistake to focus on either one but not the other. Keep up the cardiovascular exercise as well as taking up some of the ideas discussed here.
Internal medicine is also very important. As soon as you face a problem with your health, in your joints or elsewhere, it’s important to get it seen to quickly. If you leave your injuries to get worse, you’ll just damage your health in the long-term.
Yoga & Pilates
If you’re most interested in improving your flexibility, yoga is definitely a form of exercise you should think about taking up. A lot of people dismiss yoga, but they shouldn’t. It’s the perfect exercise for strengthening muscles and making you more flexible.
Pilates might be even better still! Pilates differs from yoga in how it’s a full body workout, aimed at improving flexibility in every area of the body. You should try them both and see which one is right for you, or combine the two.
Whether you’re a fitness freak or a complete newcomer, you need to look after your joints. Making sure your joints and muscles are in good shape will, in turn, make you much more flexible too.