A Guide To Exercise For Joint Health

The joints in our bodies play an important role.

They give us the freedom to move around, allowing us to embrace activities from bringing a cup of water to our mouths through to dancing to our favourite song. When our joint health becomes compromised, so does our ability to carry out many basic functions.

And, in our busy world, this doesn’t just become an inconvenience but can also play havoc on your self-esteem and overall happiness. Joint health is perhaps one of the lesser discussed aspects of wellbeing but, here at Natural Health 4 Life, we think it should move further up the list of importance.

There are many ways to take back control over the function of your joints but the one we’ll be discussing in this guide here today is exercise. So, how can you exercise to improve joint health?

What Is Joint Health?

The joints throughout your body are the points where two bones meet.

Different types perform different functions. For example, the joints in our knees and elbows are mobile.

They allow you to move both bones independently without friction or pain. Others, such as those found in the brain or within the rib cage are fixed - the two bones that meet are designed to stay in a stationary state at all times.

To prevent injury and reduce damage to the points where our bones meet, we have cartilage. This is a tough but pliable tissue that works to absorb shocks and allow bones to glide smoothly over each other.

Healthy cartilage allows us to move around without pain and with freedom. When it becomes damaged - either due to direct injury or wear-and-tear - we see joint health deteriorate.

This leads to pain and can cause the acceleration of joint deterioration over time too.

Common Ailments With Our Joints

As we mentioned above, many joint-related ailments are caused by direct injury. Others can be the result of genetic conditions - your genes may make it more likely that your cartilage will wear away at a faster rate.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems experienced with joints:


This condition occurs when a fluid-filled sac (known as a bursa) that sits within the bones in the body becomes inflamed. These sacs are generally found close to the largest joints, such as the shoulders, hips and knees.


Osteoporosis is known as bone disease. It occurs when the levels of mineral and bone mass decrease, impacting the structure of the bones. Over time, bones become so brittle that the smallest stress can cause a fracture. This thinning of the muscle eventually wears away at the cartilage in your joints too, causing a ‘grating’ sensation and increasing the chance of inflammation too.


The most common recorded form of arthritis in adults, Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease. The cartilage that originally provided friction and cushioning for your joints to move begins to deteriorate.

It isn’t exactly known why some people develop Osteoarthritis but overuse of joints after an injury, age, family history and obesity are said to be contributing factors.

Rheumatic Disorders

These autoimmune or inflammatory diseases cause your immune system to attach to the joints in your body. Again, there isn’t a straightforward answer as to why these occur.

Some research shows that it could be hereditary while others put it down to lifestyle factors and exposure to things such as pollution and cigarette smoke.

Other issues include sprains, strains and overuse, in situations such as the development of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). In all of these cases, the end result is pain and discomfort when moving.

However, in opposition to what you may be thinking, one of the best things you can do is exercise.

Can Exercise Help?

When joints hurt, it can be tempting to forgo any type of movement in favour of rest. And, while this is ideal in many scenarios - such as when dealing with sprains or strains - exercise can offer protective benefits while helping to reduce pain too.

Here are some of the ways that moving your body can bring real benefits:

  • Improving the strength of your cartilage - Cartilage has no independent blood supply. In order to stay strong and in full working order, it needs to draw nutrients from the synovial membrane. During exercise, your heart beats faster to pump blood and other liquids around your body. This also floods your membrane with essential nutrients that make their way into the cartilage. And, over time, this keeps it strong and able to offer the necessary protection needed.
  • Strengthens your muscles and ligaments - For you to move around securely and sturdily, you need strength in your muscles. This puts less strain on your joints, ensuring weight is distributed easily and making injury less likely.
  • Reduces stiffness - If you don’t move your joints regularly, that feeling of stiffness can also increase pain. It may make it feel like an impossibility to ever engage in exercise but the truth is that regular movement will make everything considerably easier. Doctors prescribe range-of-motion exercises that are designed to relieve stress and increase movability to many people suffering from joint pain.

What Exercise Is Best For Joint Health?

You must speak to your healthcare provider to ensure that any exercise you take up will benefit, instead of hinder, your joint health.

Undertaking any type of movement early on is the best form of preventative medicine but there are still options to do if you feel the pain creeping in or have been dealing with it for a while. One key thing to remember here is the importance of variety - many joint injuries are aggravated by continual and repetitive movement.

Switch up your exercise to see the best results with your routine.

The best types of exercise for joint health include:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Pilates
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Strength training

Switch these up and complete them regularly.

Staying healthy, specifically in your joints, is something that we should all be working on every single day. At Natural Health 4 Life, we’re passionate about bringing you the best advice and products to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle with ease.

If you have any questions about how you can best project your joint health or would like to speak to a member of our team, please do get in contact with us here today.

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