Low Impact Exercise for Joint Health

Friday, July 16 2021

Protect and nourish your joints with movement medicine.  Created entirely with arthritis exercises, this 45-minute low-impact home workout provides moderate cardio with total body movement.  Fitness workouts should provide results.  The Arthritis Exercise Interval Workout is designed to improve joint mobility and reduce pain and stiffness. 

Sometimes you just can’t get in the pool, or you may want to cross train with some land-based fitness.  This low-impact joint mobility workout is designed to be performed standing up, however you will want a chair nearby for balance purposes.  The main segment of this workout is taught with interval training.  The work cycles are performed for 45 seconds with larger limb movements at the shoulder and hip joints.  The recovery cycles feature active movement at the smaller joints, such as elbow, wrist, finger, ankles and more.  No joint is left untouched in this cardio, total-body fitness program.  If you prefer seated exercise, Poolfit also offers two chair arthritis workouts, Chair Sports & Rec and Chair Dance’letics.  Poolfit is committed to expanding in-home workout options. Please let us know what type of in-home workout options you would like to see on Poolfit by posting a comment below or by sending us a suggestion. 

All exercise is good.  High intensity pool workouts are great, but fitness results will plateau if that is all you do.  There is a reason why workouts such as Pilates, yoga, stretching and muscle conditioning are popular.  They provide specific fitness results.  Exercise for joint mobility also provides specific and very important fitness results.  Arthritis fitness programs aren’t just for people with arthritis, they are for people who want to keep their joints supple and healthy with functional exercise.   

Sedentary lifestyles and a lack of movement are the leading causes of joint pain and stiffness as people age. The human body is largely made up of synovial joints, located where the bones are connected.  Synovial fluid is found in the cavity of these joints and a lack of movement prevents this fluid from dispersing and lubricating the joint.  Without movement and lubrication, the joint loses function over time and becomes stiffer and prone to pain as range of motion (ROM) decreases. 

Daily activities are not enough to move a joint through its full ROM to maintain optimal elasticity.  For example, the hip and shoulder joints are ball-and-socket joints and allow the greatest ROM, a full 360 degrees.  However, we seldom walk around performing hip and shoulder circles, diagonals, spirals and other types of 360-degree movement.  Eventually, failure to move a joint through its full ROM breaks down the cartilage that keeps your joint moving smoothly, which leads to the development of osteoarthritis.  

Good news!  There is a solution.  Participating in planned exercise activities that move your joints through their full range of motion helps keep your joints healthy and provides relief to those suffering from arthritis.  Thanks to my training as an AEA Arthritis Foundation Program Leader, I now include arthritis exercises in all of my fitness classes, including cardio, high intensity interval training, deep-water fitness and more.  Why?  Because arthritis exercises represent functional fitness by moving joints through their full ROM, benefitting everyone, including more advanced exercise participants.  Water fitness is especially beneficial because the buoyancy of the water limits joints stress and allows for more freedom of movement.  Additionally, the joints are submerged in the water’s resistance, which improves muscular strength and joint integrity.  Poolfit recently posted two pool workouts for joint mobility.  Water Exercise for Arthritis is a shallow water fitness program, and Deep Revive features deep water exercise for optimal joint mobility.

Don’t let joint pain and stiffness impair your daily activities and quality of life.  Participate in fitness activities that are purposely designed to move your body in all directions.  Properly designed exercise can be like medicine for your joints, helping you move better, feel better and live better.


Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.