Exercises That Are Easy on Your Joints

Exercise strengthens muscles, encourages weight loss, and decreases a variety of health risks. If you suffer from joint pain though, the thought of running or other common forms of exercise can feel daunting at best and terrifying at worst. There are many low-impact forms of exercise options available to you though!


Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise, and you don’t need any special equipment or instructors. We do suggest good walking shoes and comfortable clothing, but you likely already have those items in your wardrobe. Start with ten minutes at a time, or even up and down the street.


Yoga is a great form of exercise for people who suffer from tender, painful, or even swollen joints. One of the reasons that it’s particularly helpful is the amount of stretching involved. Avoid the more intense forms of yoga though, such as hot yoga and power yoga – they are too intense for joints.  

Swimming or other water exercises

Swimming is a wonderful low-impact form of exercise! The resistance of the water provides strength training but also reduces pressure on your joints as you move.

Elliptical machines

The smooth motion of elliptical machine workouts makes exercise much easier on sore joints. It’s also easier to work the muscles in your upper and lower body all at once.


Outdoor bike riding can be a relaxing way to exercise, but it’s not always an option and can come with risks. Stationary bikes are a great alternative if you can’t use an outdoor bike. Whether indoor or outdoor, cycling is a great low-impact exercise.


Pilates was originally developed as a rehabilitation exercise for patients and was later adopted by ballet dancers when they found that it increased strength and decreased injuries. It focuses on resistance and core training and is often combined with yoga exercises now. Pilates is a great way for people with joint pain to increase their strength and flexibility.

If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your doctor – they can help you choose the best form of exercise for your joint pain. Even if it feels daunting at first, exercise can help reduce your joint pain over time and help reduce your risk of further pain.