Light exercises on joints besides swimming

Swimming is usually recommended by doctors when one has aching joints. If bad weather (or the haze) keeps you away, these alternatives will keep you fit. 

Many factors can result in aching joints, such as overexertion during regular exercise, a chronic disease like arthritis or overuse with age. Should the pain persist after a period of rest, it is best to seek professional help.

 Light exercises on joints besides swimming

Even young children are not spared from joint pain, as some suffer from juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), said Dr Ooi Pei Ling. She is an associate consultant from the division of paediatric allergy, immunology and rheumatology at the National University Hospital.

“Children with JIA experience joint pain, stiffness and swelling that last for six weeks or more,” Dr Ooi told The Straits Times. “This inflammation can occur in any joint in the body, including the limbs, back and even the jaw,” she said.

In these cases, swimming is a good form of exercise for those looking to keep up a fitness regime. It is light on the joints and supports cardiovascular health.

Here are three alternatives for when you feel like mixing things up:

1) Pilates

Take advantage of the influx of classes around your workplace or neighbourhood. It “focuses on joint mobility and stability, creating balance around joints and increasing flexibility around joints,” said physical therapist Christa Gurka from Pilates in the Grove. “It also works on body awareness to improve balance and alignment,” she added.

2) Yoga

Join yogis around the world in experiencing the benefits of the practice, that includes less stress, increased flexibility and toned muscles. It also reduces pain and swelling for those with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a series of studies by the Arthritis Foundation.

3) Elliptical trainer

Found in most gyms, the elliptical trainer which simulates stair climbing is your friend. “This is a no-impact workout,” said physical trainer Neal I. Pire. “Ellipticals are easy to use, pain-free, and an easy way to start exercising for most people,” he added. Let go of the machine’s handles to train your arms.

Have other low-impact exercises that you love? Let us know at

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