Our body is outstanding. We move in so many different ways and shapes and speeds. But when we are injured or tweaked, healing can take some serious time. Injuries can happen in a second, and the recovery can take weeks, months, sometimes even years. That’s why it’s so important to take care of our body, and especially our joints, ahead of time to prevent injuries and decrease our recovery time if an injury does occur. Joints receive less blood flow so it takes longer for them to receive the cellular material to rebuild after a workout. To strengthen them, it takes consistent work over a longer period of time and the best way to do that is to: you guessed it, exercise!
Exercising keeps joints flexible and strong, all while helping you lose weight, which minimizes the pressure on your joints. According to this article by WebMD, losing just 1 pound takes 4 pounds of pressure off of your knees, and 6 pounds of pressure off of your hips. Maintaining a healthy weight is critical in keeping your joints strong.
Warming up prior to and cooling down after any exercise are also important aspects of caring for your joints.
Warming Up: Doing small dynamic movements such as side bends, arm circles, and jogging in place are the best to do before beginning a workout. Think about doing less intense versions of the actual workout movements that you will be doing. For example, if you are going to be squatting with weights, then warm up by doing body weight squats. These moves help build strength and mobility while also helping to protect your body from injuries.
Cooling Down: Static stretching, or stretch-and-hold movements are most effective at the end of a workout and play a part in increasing flexibility. These moves should focus on the muscles that you worked on while exercising. If it was leg day, some good stretches would be reaching for your toes, quad and hamstring stretches, and butterfly stretch. If you did an arm workout you could stretch your triceps or clasp you hands behind your back and lift upwards to open up your chest and stretch your biceps. A full body workout would probably need to be followed by a yoga flow to ensure that everything is getting stretched! Here is a great post-workout yoga video by Boho Beautiful that I highly recommend!
While warming up before and stretching after a workout is essential to getting the most out of exercising, there are also a few things to remember during your workout to maximize joint health and minimize the risk of potential injuries.
WHEN IT COMES TO JOINT EXERCISE SAFETY, HERE ARE THE TOP 3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Taking good care of your joints is not easy; it takes dedication and consistency, but it is necessary if you want to maintain flexibility, mobility, and range of motion throughout your life.
Phoebe is a contributing author for Tada Rugs. Tada Rugs is a 5x7 yoga mat disguised as an artistic area rug that you never have to put away. Tada is short for tadasana, or mountain pose, and our own backyard in the San Juan Mountains of Durango, Colorado is where we find our inspiration. Check out our new designs, enter for a chance to win a new Tada Rug, and be sure to follow us for deals and insider specials! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or contact us through our website! Tie a room together and bring your practice home.
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