Summer weather beckons us outdoors to exercise. Those who deal with mild to chronic joint pain will find even twenty minutes of activity in a day can improve mobility and attitude. How well you feel afterward will depend on the measures you take to exercise safely.
Warm up your muscles. The time spent stretching your limbs and back can mean the difference between an enjoyable day out and an evening with an ice pack. However you intend to exercise, first engage in proper stretches to loosen your body and lubricate your joints. It will also help to cool down with light stretches to prevent stiffness and aches.
Wear the right shoes. Sandals and thongs work for the short walk to the beach, but a dedicated hike along your favorite trail requires shoes that support and cushion your feet. If the soles of your favorite walking shoes look too worn down for an extensive trek, it’s time to get a new pair. Ankle sprains and other injuries become greater risks if you’re not using proper footwear.
Watch out for ticks. It’s possible to social distance on woodsy trails, but unfortunately ticks aren’t aware of the rules! If you’ve planned an outdoor hike in a high-grass area or state park, use caution and avoid tick bites that could lead to Lyme disease and consequent joint pain. The CDC has information on the right repellents to use, and other tips to prevent bites.
Don’t forget to hydrate. These days we are conditioned to carry a mask wherever we go. While they can help in certain public places, hydration is key when you’re exercising. Before you ride, walk, jog or hike, make sure your water bottle or pack is filled and ready to go.
If your joint pain, brought on by injury, illness or other factors, flares up and keeps you from enjoying your favorite activities, Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists can help. Our physicians and therapists can work with you to provide a regimen of care – from minimally invasive procedures to PT – that helps improve your quality of life. Contact us today for more information.