Moderate exercise is a critical component in the prevention and treatment of joint problems, but many sufferers avoid working out because they are fearful of the pain it might cause. The old adage “use it or lose it” is very appropriate in this case because a lack of exercise can cause joints to become increasingly stiff and painful.  The good news is that there are several pain-free exercise options available to help strengthen joints and increase flexibility.

Joint-friendly exercise routines should include strengthening, stretching and moderate aerobic activity. The type of exercises needed will vary from person to person depending on the severity of the pain, the location of the discomfort and the age and physical fitness level of the individual.

Yoga is particularly helpful for joint pain sufferers because it stretches the muscles and soft tissues of the body and has the added bonus of improving breathing and promoting relaxation. The practice of yoga increases the lubrication within the joints, ligaments and tendons.

Many physical therapists and holistic practitioners recommend water exercise programs to prevent and treat joint pain. Warm water is soothing and provides buoyancy that reduces the pressure on the joints, making it easier to perform stretches and range of motion exercises. Water-based exercise classes are available through senior centers, community-based recreational facilities and health clubs. Check out the options in your community.

Walking is another activity that can ease joint pain. Walking helps strengthen bones and keeps the joints flexible. Be sure to take a few minutes to warm up and stretch before you go for a walk or engage in any other type of physical exercise. Use gentle, gradual movements when you exercise and take a break if you notice sudden or unfamiliar pain. Applying a cold pack for 15 minutes after you exercise will reduce swelling and ease discomfort.

In addition to exercise, many joint pain sufferers also take nutritional supplements to increase flexibility and help keep pain at bay. Alleviate offers full joint support. This unique supplement contains hyaluronic acid, which is extracted from the comb of roosters. Hyaluronic acid is a complex carbohydrate that is produced in the cartilage, the epidermis and elsewhere in the body as part of the repair and recovery process. When it is low, our joints lose their shock-absorbing power and become more vulnerable to pain and injury. Hyaluronic acid supplements help thicken the fluid in the joints to provide better lubrication and keep bones from rubbing against each other.

Make regular exercise and nutritional supplements part of your daily routine so that you can stay active throughout your life. Talk to your holistic practitioner about the plan that best suits your needs and discover the positive difference it can make for you.