How Exercise Helps Joints

 

It may seem counter intuitive if your joints are sore, swollen and stiff, but truly, in scientific terms, exercise is one of the best things for you!  Exercise helps joints by increasing range of motion, and decreasing the overall discomfort you experience.

 

Joints are surrounded by soft tissue, often referred to as the synovial membrane, which makes fluids that act like an oil can, lubricating joints move more smoothly within their surrounding tissues.

 

Physical activity encourages circulation of joint fluid, which in turn makes joint movements more fluid.

 

Better Blood Flow

Get your heart pumping! Blood flow circulating through your joints at an increased rate allows better flow of oxygen and nutrients throughout joint tissues.

 

The Right Nutrients

Bearing weight on your joints, like you do when you exercise, pushes water molecules out of the cartilage just like squeezing a sponge.  And also like releasing a sponge you’ve squeezed under water, the proper joint nutrients and fresh oxygen are soaked right back up in place of the water that was pushed out.

 

Joint-Gene Activation

Some research even shows joint movement turns on joint-repair genes.  Careful though, it is also possible that over impacting and over exercising your joints can have the opposite effect.  The best way to not push too far is to listen to your body – it’s the perfect judge of the right amount of exercise.

 

Waste Removal

On a cellular level, exercise triggers all sorts of biological processes.  One called autophagy in particular is important to healthy joints.  Broken and damaged cells in your joints are broken down further and removed, making room for new and healthy cells.

 

Muscles from Brussels

Strengthening ligaments, tendons and muscles that encase your joints is a sure-fire way to brace and protect, lessening pressure on the joint itself with the strength of their support.

 

So despite the bit of stiffness or soreness, do your best every day to keep exercising.  Supplementing is always a good consideration as well, to keep your movements fluid.  Even at a light level, weight-bearing exercise like walking will help keep your joints healthier and you happier in the long run.

 

SEE ALSO: Age is Just a Number – How Exercise and Diet Keep You Young for Life