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Workouts that work after joint surgery

Fitness is a funny thing. Some people love the feeling and endorphins that come with high-level activity. Others prefer to stick with low-movement routines or avoid exercise altogether. There’s no doubt that a healthy fitness regimen is generally beneficial to our bodies as a whole. Regular workout routines reduce weight and improve heart health. They also keep our muscles strong and our minds healthy. Still, there seems to be some confusion among New Yorkers about what’s good and bad when it comes to exercise and joint health.

By and large, fitness can help your joints stay strong and functional. However, if you experience chronic joint pain or have recently undergone a joint surgery, your workouts could probably handle a modification. The great news is that joint issues don’t have to keep you off your feet. In fact, you might find that once a joint has been repaired, you feel up to doing activities that once seemed off limits. Here are a few examples of exercises that work when you need to be mindful of your joints. If you have any questions about your options and what’s allowed (and what’s not), be sure to speak with us or a physical therapist.

Biking

Whether you are exploring the city on two wheels or strapped down to a stationary bike, peddling against little resistance is a joint-friendly way to get moving. If protecting your knees is a concern, remember to take regular breaks and avoid pushing yourself too hard. It might be necessary to avoid steep inclines, at least until you consult with a physician. Be sure to do your therapist-approved stretches before starting out and after your ride concludes.

Swimming

Many individuals who suffer from joint pain or are recovering from a joint surgery find swimming to be a relaxing but challenging choice. When you’re floating in water, you offer your joints some relief while still pushing the rest of your body. Don’t think you have to be an Olympic athlete to hop in the pool, either. Many local swimming facilities offer classes that can be beneficial to experts and newbies alike. Be sure to tell your trainer about your joint concerns before participating. They will likely have some solutions for avoiding too much strain.

Dance

Believe it or not, dance can be a great way to get your body moving without placing too much stress on your hips and knees. I once had a patient who was a competitive ballroom dancer, but she was suffering from joint pain. After several surgeries, she found herself back on the dance floor and moving with grace. Although it is best to avoid dance moves that include harsh movements, gliding around can help you work up a sweat whether you choose to attend classes with a loved one or simply follow instructions from an at-home video.

Walking

After a joint surgery, running, especially long distance, is probably not the smartest choice for your hips and knees. That’s because running forces you to put a lot of weight and other pressure on them. Still, walking is an option—and a fun one at that. Slowing down your pace is a great way to get your joints moving and take in the scenery that surrounds you. To get started, head to a safe area in the park or even just roam around your neighborhood sidewalks. Some communities also offer walking groups that meet at malls and other facilities and encourage friendships as well as fitness. Want to switch it up a little? Consider going on a historical walking tour of your town or volunteering to escort children to school each morning.

Posted in: Joint Replacement

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