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Establishing a workout routine? Easier said than done. Life keeps getting in the way. It’s easy to come up with all kinds of excuses, small and big,  to distance ourselves from real goals. Health reasons or, more specifically, joint pain, are rather common excuses we tend to use in order to silence that voice in our head that’s telling us to improve our way of living.

When talking about joint pain and health, most people experience not only physical difficulties, but psychological obstacles as well. If something is restraining you, it’s difficult to enjoy your everyday life activities, let alone start exercising properly. However, exercising and working those painful joints can increase their strength and flexibility. Here are some things to keep in mind when moving toward a more active lifestyle.

Consult with a specialist first

Before starting your workout journey, think of preventing further damages first.

Do not hesitate to consult a specialist; a doctor, a physical therapist, or a fitness trainer. They can assess your condition and put together a program that works best for you and your overall health.

A little goes a long way – if you don’t have the time to train daily with someone’s supervision, invest an hour in consultations and work out at home. Additionally, invest in some type of gear that might help you, providing more support for your workout plan. For example, foam rollers, if used regularly, might be a good investment to benefit your flexibility and stiffness issues.

Mobility and stability – the basics

Why is mobility so important? When experiencing issues with painful joints, whether that’s from a past injury, arthritis, or other health reasons, it is crucial for the muscles not to get shortened, which might cause a loss of range of motion (ROM).

When talking about our knees, the most common actions are flexion and extension – meaning, in case of pain, our joints won’t fully bend or extend.

In order to prevent this, you can try to move your joints actively and/or passively. Active movement does not involve the assistance of an external force, only of your muscles. On the other hand, moving it passively entails adding an external counter-force to it, whether from our hands or different types of equipment. Only by moving your joints in these two ways, and especially by doing it regularly, every day, even for fifteen minutes at a time, can you decrease their stiffness.

When taking into consideration stability, it is important to acknowledge different exercises to allow our body’s dynamic movement and with that, work on making our joints stable.

Mobility exercises

In order to exercise your knee, start this routine in a seated position. Place a foam roller under your heel and lightly apply some pressure on the joint with your hands. By doing so, you can work on your maximum extension. Another type of exercise would be pulling your knees towards your chest in that same seated position.

Another simple exercise you can do at home is lying on your stomach and placing the roller above your patella, where it feels comfortable. With that, just lightly force the movement of pushing your feet to the ground – by doing so, you are again actively forcing the maximum extension. If you do not have a disposable roller, you can do the same exercise in the same position, by actively bending your knees towards your backside or passively adding a force to it.

Stability exercises

For stability, squats or lunges might work. To make the workout easier, you can include an external support and hold on to something, making sure you are not applying too much pressure on your joints, but, at the same time, having a full range of motion.

Fun alternatives

Fortunately, there are some alternatives we can use in order to accomplish a good workout but keep it fun and within individual limits and potential. For instance, cyclical aerobic exercises or any kind of endurance workouts can contribute to joint health – cycling can be done in groups, as well as outdoors, which can ease your mind from stiffness and focus your attention on more positive things.

Low impact exercises can be very effective if done moderately as well as in the right way.

If you ever feel like you might need a little extra support and relief, try LUBRICEN® knee patch. Its drug-free ingredients are delivered through the skin to stimulate the body into producing synovial fluid – the natural lubricant for the knee joint cartilage. SWISSWELL’s mission is to enable everyone to live a healthy, physically active and fulfilled lifestyle, in a world without the joint pain. 

And remember: a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single – albeit LUBRICEN® supported – step!