If you have arthritis, in home walking exercise can be extremely beneficial- but only if you are doing it the right way. There are specific movements that will help you to keep your joints healthy and relieve arthritis pain. The answer is actually NOT forwards walking or marching…Adding variety in your in home walking exercise can help you to unlock nagging, chronic joint pain so you can get on with your adventures.
Have you ever been told that walking is one of the best exercises you can do for arthritis pain, especially hip, knee, and low back?
Have you ever experienced more pain after you walked? Or more pain halfway into your walk?
One client I am working with initially came to me because her knee pain was to the point she couldn’t walk more than a block without severe pain.
Another client I am working with was unable to walk her dogs more than 1 mile on uneven ground before her hip pain flared.
Walking is likely difficult for you because forward walking may not be the exercise you NEED.
Don’t get me wrong, walking is a good exercise but there is actually a BETTER way to walk that will actually be nicer to your joints.
The type of walking your arthritic joints like
As humans, we walk forward a lot. Everything we do is moving in a forwards direction. As you walk forwards for exercise too, your joints are likely sending out a pain signal to get you to change the activity!
Oftentimes I find people think that walking is one of the only safe exercises with arthritic joints. When in reality, walking may not be the most helpful- especially if you are dealing with bone on bone knee or hip pain.
Walking can make you feel good- loosening up your joints, promoting blood flow, and alleviating tight muscles. It’s not something you should rule out. Especially when you get up after sitting for a while, a walk can really do you some good!
But, there is a way that you can actually get more benefit out of walking.
When you work out in your home, there are lots of walking workouts out there that consist of marching movements. These workouts help to increase your heart rate and improve your stamina. But, what if there was a way that you could actually reduce your joint pain too?
So what type of in home walking exercise should you be doing?
One that includes sideways and backwards walking. Yup, I said it. Walking backwards. By including variety in your walking can actually help to unlock freedom from chronic joint pain from osteoarthritis.
Our bodies love to move in different ways, so the longer you spend moving forwards, your joints will likely get irritated.
Initially, walking in different directions may feel uncomfortable. This is because your joint may be saying…
Ummm…hi what are you doing to me? Why are we moving in this new way? I’m not too sure about this right now.
Once your body gets used to moving in these different ways, you would be amazed how good your joints can feel. Your body learns to adapt. You are able to stress different parts of the joint- relieving the irritated parts.
So now the question remains, which in home walking exercise should you be following?
The new way of in home walking exercise
Instead of the typical walking exercise, it’s time to switch it up. Others are taking this advice and feel amazing. It’s all about trying something new and the reward of seeing the results.
This video below is a follow along workout where I show you how to change up your in home walking exercise routine. The goal is to find movements that you like and those that make your joints feel good. There are lots of movements out there but these are some of my favorites.
With these new movements, you might feel uncoordinated at first and that’s totally normal. Coordination is an important skill to work on!
Test these movements out and let me know how it goes!
Some other examples of including variety in your in home walking exercise training include:
- Side stepping
- Backwards stepping
- Banded reverse steps
- Lateral box step over with this step stool
- Banded forward and backward stepping with these resistance bands
One thing you do want to make sure when doing this exercises you are taking care of your feet too. A common question I get is what shoes are best when exercising with osteoarthritis.
One of the brands I trust as a healthcare professional and personally for my own feet is KURU. These shoes are designed especially for people that have arthritis with a special technology in the sole. You can check them out here.
You can also check out some other recommendations especially if you are exercising or working outside on concrete here.
Forward walking isn’t bad
I do want to clarify that you do not have to give up forwards walking. I meet so many people who love walking both for physical activity and stress management.
Forward walking is not bad.
There are ways you can maximize the benefit of walking though, and decrease your overall arthritis pain by adding some of the movements from above.
One of the most popular ways to include variety is to complete a few exercises as part of a warm up or short workout prior to heading out to walk. Some popular ways to do this can be found in this video.
By doing so, you can likely increase the distance you are able to walk and decrease the severity of your joint pain.
With osteoarthritis pain, there are options for exercise and quite frankly variety is a must when it comes to finding relief!
How to find variety
I find that almost 9 out of 10 people I work with that have osteoarthritis aren’t getting enough variety. When working at home with an in home walking exercise program in particular. This simple thing actually could be contributing to pain and making it worse.
This could also be one of the reasons exercise may not have worked for you so far.
One of the biggest fears I hear is fear of injuring yourself when trying to incorporate different exercises. This is why I have created a follow along 10 workout series inside of the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint.
Each workout will get you moving in different ways that are arthritis friendly You will start with the basics and progress to strength training and other higher intensity workouts.
These workouts were tested on people with hip osteoarthritis, bone on bone knee arthritis, and even degenerative disc disease with amazing success.
This Blueprint also includes many other vital aspects needed to reverse the severity of the symptoms of osteoarthritis while allowing you to live an active life. Pain doesn’t have to hold you back any longer!
Learn more about the program below.
The Arthritis Adventure Blueprint
Dr. Alyssa Kuhn’s signature program to help you go from hopeless to hopeful with osteoarthritis. You will learn the secrets to arthritis pain relief that actually work- including exercise, diet, and other ways to control inflammation! Say goodbye to short term pain relief, it’s time to make it last.
Forward, traditional walking may not be enough to relieve your joint pain. You may actually be making your pain worse if you are lacking variety.
Ask yourself throughout the day, “how am I getting variety today?” Think about how often you found yourself moving side to side. Whether you are doing parts of an in home walking routine or walking outdoors- find ways to move in different directions.
You may be surprised at how much of a different something so simple can make to your routine.
Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site