Healthy muscles allow us to move, but joints are the link to a life of movement with ease. At Nimble Fitness, we take the health of joints very seriously. Trust us, you want happy joints, especially later on in life. Joint pain can often be relieved either through proper exercise or with the right amount of rest.
Keep it simple. If you know you should not train-don’t do it! Don’t force yourself to exercise when your body is telling you to rest. The other side of the equation is knowing when your joints need a break or when they just need to be warmed up. You may start a workout and feel a joint is “stuck” or has some pain. Sometimes doing a couple of activation warm-ups allows the pain to disappear because the joint is now in a more stable position. A warm-up increases the joint’s range of motion, allowing the muscles to handle more stress and to move in a more functional manner. Here are a couple of ways to approach your warm up so that you can understand whether your joint alignment is off, or whether you really need to take the day off from your training program.
1. Try doing the opposite of the movement you are attempting. Then go back to the original exercise you were attempting. Often, activating the opposing muscle group opens up joint space.
2. Use a proper progression when adding load – lighter to heavier, simple movements to complex. There is no such thing as “too light” when warming up with weights.
3. Nutrition! Are you consuming too much sugar or gluten? If your body is reacting to food intolerance then you could be dealing with inflammation that is causing you joint pain.
4. Rest? Are you giving yourself enough time to recover between workouts?
5. Sleep? Are you getting quality sleep that allows the body to heal its self?
6. Take time to do some inner-work. Working with Tai Chi, meditation and other relaxation techniques will help you maintain a high level of “chi” or life energy.