Joint Pain Part 2: 4 Things we can do to help keep our bodies running smooth

We wouldn’t expect our cars to last even 10 years without ever taking it to the garage. Fortunately our bodies have the ability to heal and adapt, but even so, a structural tune up is required every once in a while. Beyond this we can find help in the way we move each day. Before starting a new exercise routine, it’s important that we check on our health with a medical professional, and make sure all joints in our body are moving well. Once that is done, here are four types of exercise and why they help our body work better.

  1. Flexibility/ full range exercise: Here I think of yoga, stretching, rockclimbing, and functional/natural movement exercises (Parkour!). Something that puts our joints through their full range of motion. These exercises can be particularly beneficial to help our posture. Which can be especially beneficial if your work involves a lot of driving or sitting at a desk.
  2. Strength exercise: Can be some of the activities above, but lifting heavy things also helps strengthen our joints, bones and muscles for later in life. Building up strong tissue allows us to better handle any bumps or bruises we inevitably pick up along the way.
  3. Heart stretching exercise. It might be High intensity Interval training for some, pool aerobics, swimming, biking, running, or even walking for others. Something that helps get your heart pumping, improving circulation to all areas of the body. Challenging your heart also improves heart rate variability, aka your body’s ability to handle any sort of stress from the outside world, and helps you relax more easily.
  4. Recovery “Exercise”: For those avid exercisers, this may often get neglected. Massage therapy, going to the spa, putting time into a good diet and sleep routine, or just having a day of light activity during the week allows your body a chance to build up and recover. Your body knows when it needs a break! Push it too much or too hard when it’s not ready and it fails.

A well taken care of body incorporates a balance of all these activities. Our bodies can
always get healthier, and we’re never too old or sore to incorporate a little more movement in
our lives!