• Low Impact Sports That Won’t Injure your Joints

    on Apr 18th, 2018

You love the thrill, teamwork, and competition of sports. Basketball, running, soccer, football, tennis, and volleyball may have all called to you at some point in your life. But, as you’re growing older, these high-impact, high-demand sports are taking a toll on your joints.

Don’t just trade in your sporty lifestyle for time on the couch. Gravitate to low-impact sports that can keep you safe from joint pain and injury. Consider these options when revamping your exercise routine.

Swimming

The water supports your body weight and takes pressure off your joints. But, with a variety of strokes, it challenges your whole body – from your arms to your core to your legs.

Swim laps at your local pool or use it to feed your competitive drive by joining a masters swim program. Opportunities for meets and open-water swimming competitions are vast and may represent a whole new world of sport for you.

Rowing or kayaking

When you row or paddle, the movement is cyclical and puts very little impact on your joints. The emphasis of these sports is on the upper body, including your shoulders and arms. If you have knee or hip concerns, these boating activities are a great choice.

Road cycling or mountain biking

Cycling is very easy on your joints. You never create an impact with the ground, so your knees, ankles, hips, and back experience little strain during a session. Road cycling group rides and races are plentiful. Many communities have groups that get together for weekly training rides, which is a great way to keep a sporty sense of camaraderie during workouts.

Mountain biking offers off-road riding that’s challenging and scenic. Group rides and competitive events are also common for mountain bikers.

Bowling

Bowling is a team sport that can really satisfy your competitive urges. You may not think of it as a traditional sport – like baseball or soccer – but it can be challenging. Augment it with low-impact exercise at the gym to challenge your heart, such as elliptical training or a rowing ergometer.

Golf

Riding in a golf cart isn’t going to get you much exercise, but walking the course and carrying your clubs requires a good effort. Most everyone can walk and it’s easy on your joints. Do be careful when swinging a club repetitively, as it can aggravate issues at the shoulder joint. Talk to Dr. Nickson about how you can keep your shoulder healthy even when golfing and how to properly carry your clubs to protect your back from strain.

Yoga

Yoga may not be a sport, per se, but it certainly is low impact and a boost for your joint health. It supports a flexibility of your muscles and range of motion and strength in your joints. Find a class at a local gym or studio. Yoga complements any fitness routine or sport activity.

Keep active even when your joints have other ideas by taking up a sport that’s easier on your body. Consult with Dr. Nickson at Next Step Orthopedics in McKinney, TX, about any precautions you should take before beginning so you have joints that will play long into the future.

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