Suffering from joint pain? This simple routine may help
Newton’s First Law of Motion states a body in motion will stay in motion. As you age, this law can apply to keeping our bodies healthy.
Our bodies are almost always in motion, and walking is one of the biggest activities we do each day. The benefits of walking are countless, and now, research suggests walking five days a week can help eliminate pain.
Researchers conducted a study with 40 healthy women as participants. Three exercise groups varying in intensity were set up to measure pain perception. The low-dose exercise group completed a routine of walking three times per week. The moderate-dose exercise group walked five times per week, and the high-dose group walked 10 times per week. After exercising, a pressure test was applied to the participants’ forearms to measure pain perception.
Results indicated the moderate-dose exercise group, which walked five days a week, rated pain pressure significantly less – by 60% – versus the exact same pain pressure applied at the start of the study.
“Walking can help reduce pain because the motion lubricates the joints. Synovial fluid that lives between our joints lubricates the joint, helping cartilage absorb the nutrition our joints need,” says Dr. Thomas Baier, an orthopedic surgeon at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.
With conditions such as arthritis, the joint naturally stiffens up and creates pain, causing a loss of motion, explains Dr. Baier. To help combat this type of pain, walking or other low-impact exercises are essential to maintaining the movement of joints.
“To begin a walking routine, you should walk every other day for the first few weeks for 15 minutes so your body can adjust,” says Dr. Baier. Ideally, the goal should be to increase your number of walks to five times per week for 30 minutes each.
Dr. Baier recommends starting slow for individuals who aren’t in a regular exercise regimen. Starting with a physical therapist or trainer is highly recommended to create the best exercise regimen for your personal goals.
Here are some tips to get started on a low-impact exercise routine:
- Wear reflective clothing when walking at dusk
- Walk with a buddy
- Add a light strength-training routine to build and strengthen muscles
- Try swimming as an alternative, which provides low impact on the body, but can also strengthen both the upper and lower exterminates
- Incorporate lunges to strengthen your quadriceps muscles, which can reduce stress to your knees
Do your knees or hips hurt? Take a free online assessment to learn more by clicking here.
About the Author
Liz Fitzgerald, health enews contributor, is an integrated marketing coordinator at Advocate Aurora Health. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication from Marquette University. Outside of work, Liz has a goal of visiting all U.S. national parks.