Want to ensure a future full of healthy days? Take steps now to keep your joints happy. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can prevent or reduce joint pain, which in turn can help you enjoy an active life for years to come. Being overweight increases the risk for osteoarthritis in the knee fourfold in women and fivefold in men. Each pound of weight you lose takes 4 to 6 pounds of pressure off your knees when you step. Shedding just 5 to 10 pounds can make a big difference in your joint health.
To lose weight and increase your strength and range of motion, cross-training is your best bet. Cross training helps improve your fitness while protecting your body from injury by combining various exercises that work on different parts of the body. Running every day or only taking a spin class from the same person three times a week may lead to overuse injuries. And if you’ve ever experienced one of these sports-related injuries, you know how frustrating they can be. Cross training the perfect antidote, engaging your body in multiple ways to protect your joints and build strength.
What does cross training look like in practice? The beauty of cross training is that you can mix it up every day! Start with three days a week of cardiovascular exercise of your choice – walking/running, biking, swimming, step classes, or any activity that gets your heart pumping. On alternate days, build strength with Pilates, yoga or lifting weights. Focus on one of the body’s four major muscle groups each time your work out – arms, legs, torso (stomach) and back – to keep your body in balance. Youtube and Pinterest area great places to discover free workout videos and routines if you’re stumped about how to get started.
When we do the same exercises over and over, our body becomes very efficient at performing those movements. Switching it up regularly will keep your body working harder, leading to faster gains in your physical fitness – all while keeping your joints safe!
Into the Evening…According to a recent research study, every two hours you spend watching TV may raise your diabetes and heart disease risk! Resist the urge to veg out and go for an evening stroll instead. During shows you can’t miss, lift weights or do yoga.