Safe Sports Activities With a Joint Replacement
A joint replacement isn’t a life sentence to a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, patients with joint replacements can easily get involved with a variety of sports and exercises. The following low-impact activities are ideal for joint replacement recipients who are finally ready to return to an active routine.
Water Aerobics and Swimming
Aquatic activity not only relieves stress to the joints, but it also presents a variety of exercise options. Water aerobics, for example, allows patients to elevate their heart rate, target multiple muscle groups, and improve flexibility — all while adding no extra weight. Swimming laps around a pool is another way to promote muscle growth and strengthen tissue surrounding the replaced joint, but patients must be keen on slowly increasing the intensity of their time spent in the pool.
For many patients, dancing is more than just a sport. Fortunately for patients with joint replacements, it isn’t off limits. Ballroom dancing and similar, gentle dance styles are ideal for joint replacement recipients, because they are engaging multiple muscle groups. After recovering from a joint replacement, however, patients should keep dance instructors informed of their condition and avoid high-impact choreography.
Stationary and Outdoor Cycling
Especially beneficial for patients with knee replacements, cycling is an effective activity to elevate patient’s heart rates, burn calories, and strengthen the leg muscles. However, just like with any other exercise program following a joint replacement, patients must gradually increase duration, speed, and resistance when cycling so as not to irritate or overwork their joint replacements.
Yoga and Stretching
Activities like yoga promote flexibility, which improves circulation and strengthens the muscles around the replaced joint. While some yoga is designed for intermediate or advanced participants, beginner stretches are ideal for those with joint replacements. Furthermore, yoga and stretching are activities that can be self-guided at home, but they can also serve as social activities for patients that prefer a class setting.
Play It Safe With Orthopaedic Associates
When you’re ready to return to your favorite activity or want to test out a specific kind of sport post-replacement, the orthopaedic specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine can help. Our team will take the time to understand the complexity of your joint replacement and recommend an activity plan that keeps you moving while improving your recovery. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, complete our online request form or call 904-825-0540.