5 Ways to Exercise if You Have Achy Joints

By | 2018-03-01T18:16:28+00:00 January 25th, 2018|

Creaky knees and throbbing elbows are (quite literally) a pain, but they don’t have to stop you from getting fit! Regular exercise is vital to overall health, and may even help ease joint pain. Unfortunately, starting an exercise program can be overwhelming, especially if you have sore joints. So, here’s a list of 5 joint-friendly ways to get moving.

Seated Chair Exercise

Chair exercise is one of the best ways to get active if you have achy joints. Aerobics, strength training, and even yoga can be performed in a chair, relieving knee and hip pressure. For a complete seated workout routine, check out VHP’s Seated Chair Workout* class!

Cycling/Seated Elliptical

Cycling offers a knee-friendly alternative to walking or running. However, some people find that the circular motion of cycling aggravates their joints. If this is the case, try a seated elliptical machine. These machines, often called “NuStep” machines, can be found at most gyms and are a great substitute for upright and recumbent bikes.

Low-Impact Aerobics

Low-impact aerobics is good for your heart and boost your metabolism without jumping or excessive impact on the joints. Beginner dance classes and indoor walking routines are excellent options for new exercisers. If you’re looking for a low-impact, easy-to-do routine, check out our Indoor Walking Class*!

Yoga/Pilates/Tai Chi

Beginner-level yoga, Pilates, and tai chi classes are typically joint-friendly and may even help relieve stress! Many instructors also recommend bringing a blanket or pillow to class to ease knee pressure during certain poses. VHP offers many low-impact mind-body classes, including our Gentle Vinyasa Yoga* and Sunrise Yoga* classes.


Swimming is the ultimate joint-friendly exercise. Many people report a feeling of freedom and relief when exercising in the water. If swimming isn’t something you enjoy, water aerobics and water walking are great alternatives!

As always, it’s important to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Once you’re cleared for exercise, VHP is here to help you get those joints moving!

*Check the VHPGO platform for current class schedule.

About the Author:

As a former overweight teenager, Meghan discovered the transformative power of good nutrition and exercise. In a quest to help others transform their lives, Meghan earned an MS in Applied Nutrition from Northeastern University and a dual-certification from the American Council on Exercise in personal training and group fitness instruction. In addition to writing, Meghan teaches virtual fitness classes and provides 1-on-1 training sessions via VHPGO. Meghan resides in Charlottesville, VA and loves spending time with her husband, infant daughter, and toy poodle.