While the warm weather is here, why not make the most of sunny summer days and stay active while outside? Research has shown that even just 30 minutes of physical activity can have positive benefits on the health of your bones, joints, and muscles. Not to mention, spending time outdoors may have mental health benefits, such as lifting your mood and lowering anxiety.
Below are five low-impact summer activities to help reduce pain, stiffness and keep you moving.
Although typically done in a studio, the beauty of yoga is it can be practiced anywhere, including outdoors in a park, beach, or backyard. Yoga is an excellent form of movement with many benefits for the body, such as increasing your strength, balance, and flexibility. Yoga may also decrease lower back pain and can help with specific bone and joint problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.
Kayaking offers a few benefits for bones, muscles, and joints, all while being able to enjoy exploring on the water. The paddling movement is low impact and friendly on the joints, which can help build shoulder muscle and strength and maintain or increase shoulder mobility through range of motion. Balancing the kayak while paddling to prevent flipping over also lightly engages the core for stabilization.
Hiking is a great way to get in some long strolls and incline walking to increase the health of your bones, muscles, and joints. It reduces stiffness by lubricating and strengthening the muscles that support the joints. Hiking also helps stimulate bone growth and aids in the prevention of osteoporosis. Since hiking is a form of weight-bearing exercise, some consider it to provide minimal stress on the joints.
Swimming can be used for a low-impact activity that eases stress on the joints due to the lightness and buoyancy of floating in a body of water. Swimming can also be an anaerobic exercise like resistance training, which has benefits such as increases bone strength and density, increases lactic threshold, and protects joints. Similar to the benefits of kayaking, swimming also allows for joints to move easily through range of motion in the shoulder area. It also stimulates blood circulation to reduce stiffness and pain, helping with conditions such as arthritis.
Going for a Bike Ride
Taking your bike out for a ride is an excellent exercise for bone, joint, and muscle health, all while taking in the scenic trails. Biking provides continuous motion, which lubricates the joints and reduces arthritis symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness. Biking also strengthens the leg muscles, which helps to protect the joints.
Although these forms of exercise can be considered low intensity depending on the individual, starting new activities may result in some soreness. If pain or discomfort persists, visit one of our Urgent Injury Clinics open six days a week with no appointment necessary.
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