We care a lot about joint health. If you’ve been following our content this month, you’ll know that much of it has been dedicated to helping people with joint pain start to live the lives they deserve.
A big part of that is the encouragement of low-impact exercise. You might think that exercising would exacerbate joint pain, but that’s not the case. In order to remain flexible and promote a healthy range-of-motion, joints do need to be worked… however the intensity of the exercise must be kept low.
Consequently, a lot of what we encourage includes walking, cycling, and swimming. With many people staying indoors this year we have to find ways to keep moving.
Below we’ve collected a list of simple, low-impact exercises that can not only be done indoors, but also from the comfort of a chair.
Make sure to keep some water readily available and wear loose-fitting clothes that breathe well. We also suggest using a chair without arms, as it can inhibit your ability to move freely.
Most importantly, always consult your physician before beginning an exercise routine.
The Hip March
The goal of this exercise is to improve flexibility by strengthening your thigh and hip muscles.
1) Hold the sides of the seat. Do not lean against the back of the chair, sit upright.
2) With your knee bent as far as is comfortable, slowly lift your left leg, and then place back on the floor.
3) Repeat with your right leg. Alternate 5 times.
This exercise focuses on your shoulders.
1) Sit upright in your chair, arms hanging by your sides.
2) Keep your arms straight and your palms facing forward. Slowly raise both arms as far as it is comfortable. Keep your shoulders down.
3) Then, slowly return your arms to the starting position. Practice 5 times.
This exercise is intended to help loosen your ankles.
1) Sit upright and hold the sides of the seat.
2) Extend your left leg forward, toes pointing up.
3) Keeping your leg raised, point your toes away from you, only as far as it feels comfortable.
4) Point your toes back toward the ceiling.
5) Repeat 5 times, then change legs.
This exercise will help build strength around your knees. You will need a pillow for this one!
1) Sit upright in the chair. Let your arms hang freely.
2) Place your pillow between your knees, suspending it. We recommend folding the pillow for extra cushion.
3) Squeeze the pillow between your knees, holding for 5-10 seconds, as much as is comfortable. Repeat 5 times.
This stretch is designed to work the sides of your neck.
1) Sit upright in your chair. Do not lean back.
2) Slowly, tilt your left ear towards your left shoulder, while keeping your right shoulder in place. Go as far as it is comfortable.
3) Hold for 5-10 seconds.
4) Return your head upright. After a moment, tilt your right ear towards your right shoulder, while keeping your left shoulder in place. Go as far as it is comfortable.
5) Hold for 5-10 seconds.
6) Exercise each side 5 times.
1) Stretch your right arm straight out in front of you, palm facing down.
2) Place your left hand on top of your right hand and, while keeping your arm straight, slowly push down.
3) Your right hand will slowly start to bend back towards you. Go as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
4) Slowly take your left hand away, and bring your right hand straight forward again.
5) Repeat the same process, with your right hand on top of your left hand. Alternate sides 5 times.
Keep the exercises low-impact and with low intensity.
It’s important to exercise your joints, but we don’t want anyone to hurt themselves.
The point of these exercises is to help keep your joints limber, not to build muscle for a body-building contest.
Do not overexert yourself, and only go as far as you feel comfortable.