Health Mandy Kloppers

Sports that Promote Joint Health

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Sport is as old as humanity. Sporting has kept societies healthy and fit, built relationships, and boosted morale. In a world where laptops and iPhones have taken precedence, the importance of sports is more appropriate than ever before. 


If you take part in competitive physical exercise, you do more than maintain a healthy body. Physical activities can help prevent and manage non-communicable diseases like stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and several cancers. 


Lack of physical activities can have adverse effects on your body with time. If you don’t work out or stretch your joints, you can develop joint problems. The good news is that there are low-impact sports that can prevent you from injuring your joints and help maintain your sporty lifestyle. 


  • Yoga

Yoga might not be a sport but is a low-impact activity that can boost your joint health. Yoga supports the flexibility of your muscles and gives strength to your joints. It is a combination of mental and physical exercises. The beauty of yoga is that you don’t have to be a yoga expert to reap benefits from the sport


Yoga compliments any fitness routine and benefits individuals of all ages. Poses are the building blocks of yoga. Yoga poses can help you strengthen joints that you cannot access during a normal workout. Take time to select poses that can work for you and learn as you build a regular yoga practice. 


Once you start your yoga workout, manoeuvre slowly through the poses, and remember to breathe as you move. Take a breather in between poses that you find challenging when you run short of breath. Resume your workout once your breathing stabilizes.


  • Cycling

Cycling is a sport that can help improve and maintain your joint health. Regular cycling can also stimulate and improve your heart, lungs, and air circulation while reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cycling improves strength, coordination, and balance. Cycling also helps prevent falls and fractures and is an excellent form of exercise if you have osteoarthritis. 


Cycling requires you to not only look at the well-being of your joints. Whole-body protection is paramount. Hence, it’s advisable to wear sports sunglasses while cycling to protect your eyes from dirt, and dust, among other projectiles. Sunglasses are the surest way to ensure that you do not suffer from keratitis, cataracts, or any eye ailment caused by UV radiation. 


Cycling is essential for your joints. When cycling, you never create an impact on the ground. This means your knees, hips, ankles, and back do not strain during the exercise. There are high chances of finding groups within your neighborhood who get together for weekly or bi-weekly cycling. Joining such groups can be a great way to build connections during workouts.


  • Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact physical activity that benefits your joints, builds endurance, strengthens muscles, and maintains cardiovascular fitness. Swimming also helps you maintain a healthy weight, build strength and keep your lungs and heart healthy. 


During swimming, your body weight takes the pressure off your joints. As you progress with the sport, various strokes challenge the whole body, from arms to your legs, burning more calories than jogging would. 


  • Jogging and Running

Jogging and running are common physical activities. There is a misconception that running damages joints. However, running or jogging has health benefits to your body ranging from helping you build strong bones, strengthen muscles, improve cardiovascular fitness, and burn plenty of calories. 


Jogging and running are considered the best sports to help improve and maintain joint health. While running and jogging are beneficial for your joint health, they differ in intensity. Running is faster. When running, you use more kilojoules and demand more effort from the lungs, heart, and muscles. Running requires higher-level overall fitness than jogging. 


  • Soccer

If you are a fitness enthusiast, you’ll agree that joint health is an essential factor in fitness. Soccer is also one of the sports that is considered great for improving and maintaining joint health, as it’s well known for its ability to build strength, flexibility, and endurance. Soccer keeps joints durable and increases their flexibility. 


Many joint injuries are associated with soccer. However, joint injury recovery depends on your physical condition and how you manoeuvre. To avoid injuries, ensure that you know the rules of the game, avoid playing when injured, and seek professional help on the appropriate protective gear. 


Why Joint Health Matters

A joint is where two or more bones are joined together. Keeping your joints healthy allows you to walk, run, jump, play your favorite sport, and do more. This is why you need physical activities, a balanced diet, and plenty of sleep to keep your joints healthy. 

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.