Like the old public relations maxim, many people maintain that any exercise is good exercise.
But while physical activity is a key ingredient for a healthy lifestyle, not every exercise is right for every body. And some may do more harm than good. This is especially important for those with joint pain or problems, as many popular and otherwise healthy activities — such as running and jumping — can take a toll on knees, hips and backs.
So which exercises should people with joint issues seek out? What factors should they take into account before beginning an exercise regimen? We checked in with a couple of local experts to set the record straight.
“While there are many exercises that are good or bad for the back, hips and knees, rule No. 1 is that any activity that increases joint pain should be discontinued immediately,” said Jane Bogordos, exercise physiologist and wellness supervisor at Franciscan Health Fitness Centers in Schererville.
Bogordos recommends checking with one’s doctor before beginning any exercise program. But in general she notes that some of the best activities for reducing or avoiding joint pain include low-impact options such as bicycling, resistance exercises (to strengthen muscles surrounding the joints and protect them from stress), and flexibility exercises (to help improve and maintain proper joint range of motion).
“Form is the most important element of proper exercise,” she said. “Improper form will cause increased joint pain and swelling.”
Among the exercise options she suggests for those with knee, hip and back issues are:
(Photo by Associated Press)