How does exercise affect my joints?

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Exercise will benefit your joints and your body will thank you.  Being active and exercising will help to keep your joint flexible and mobile.  In addition, being active will help control weight gain which will help prevent adding extra stress to your joints. 

Keep yourself flexible and active and your body will thank you!

Exercise can affect your joints in a couple of different ways.  The key would be to make sure you are performing the PROPER exercise.
First, synovial joints, such as the knee, need movement to stay healthy.  Inside the weight bearing joints we have cartilage.  Motion, or exercise can help deliver imperative nutrients to the cartilage.  Consider a sponge, when we squeeze a sponge then water will be pushed out, then as we release pressure on the sponge, the water is reabsorbed.  It is similar to when we take a step.  The cartilage in the knee squeezes nutrients out into the joint capsule, then when pressure is released, possibly during the gait cycle, then the nutrients are reabsorbed into the cartalige.  If movement is not maintained, then the joint will suffer.

On the other end of the spectrum is improper movement.  Abnormal wear and tear on the joints could lead to accelerated tissue degeneration and eventual pain or injury.  Lets again consider the knee.  Many individuals lack proper control of the thigh possibly due to years of a sedentary lifestyle.  If the thigh is not controlled well during movement there is increased chance for the knee to be less stable.  In many cases and individuals knees may come together (adduct) and give the "knocked knee" appearance.  In this scenario there would be increased wear and tear on the cartilage toward the outside of knee joint, and not enough wear and tear on the inside of the knee joint. If this type of movement were to continue then again arises the chance for increased tissue degeneration and eventual pain.
In order to find out what could be the best exercises for you, consult a personal trainer or HFPN coach.  A proper movement assessment is necessary to develop the best plan of action.

Believe it or not, regular exercise is a good way to keeps your joints healthy. Regular stretching of the joints increases your flexibility and decreases your risk of joint injury. Physical activity also helps you manage your weight, which in turn lessens your risk of developing certain forms of arthritis, a leading cause of joint pain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.