Since I started teaching dance cardio, I’ve encountered a problem: joint pain. I danced my whole life, so I know how to properly roll through my feet, and the studio I teach at has a special floor for dancing to help out joints, but even so, I struggle. After I teach a class, I’ll feel like an old lady for a couple days. I knew if I continued doing the same thing, I would wind up getting hurt. Thankfully, I made some changes, and my knees and ankles feel SO MUCH BETTER! It only took a couple changes, and I hope that these tips can help others struggling with joint pain from working out!
1. Find the RIGHT shoes for your workout style
You may know that workout shoes need to have the right amount of support and fit your foot properly, but you may not know that these requirements change depending on your own two feet and the type of activity you’re doing! When I’m focusing on weights and machines, I wear a pair of Nike trainers with more of a flat, stable sole to keep my feet/ankles from rolling. When I’m outside running, I have a flexible shoe with cushion that can easily flex against terrain. For my dance cardio classes, there is A LOT of jumping and quick feet, so I have a third pair of shoes with LOTS of cushion, and a very curved sole that forces you to roll through the foot as I land.
My best advice for finding that “right” pair? Go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes. My store has a treadmill so they can video tape your stride from multiple angles to help figure out what shoe you need based on your foot, stride, and type of workout. Crazy, right? But seriously- as soon as I got my third pair of shoes with lots of cushion, my joint pain after teaching dance cardio dropped tremendously.
2. Discover BCAAs
So what are BCAAs? It’s an acronym that stands for “branched-chain amino acids”. These amino acids help with muscle repair, especially after a strenuous workout. The better the muscles repair, the less sore and fatigued we feel! Unfortunately our body doesn’t naturally produce these, but we can get them from lean protein such as chicken, turkey, eggs, or by taking supplements. Either during or right after an intense workout, I’ll drink some BCAAs. By doing this, my leg muscles can heal better and therefore better support my knees and ankles!
3. Make a joint cream
I saved the best for last! I’ve tried various muscle and joint creams from the drug store, but the artificial menthol burns like heck on my skin, to the point where I have to jump in the shower to get it off! So, I made a joint cream with all natural ingredients that I use after almost every workout, and it seriously works wonders. In a mason jar, I combined a cup of coconut oil with some essential oils from Young Living: PanAway, Peppermint, Copaiba, and Wintergreen! After putting it in the fridge, it becomes like a cool balm I can rub on my knees and ankles. All of the oils work together like an analgesic to help reduce inflammation and slightly numb the discomfort. I usually put it on after my nightly shower, then by the next morning my joints feel ready for anything!
Intrigued by this cream? Never fear! I will release a whole tutorial and more detailed explanation on why it works so well in a future post, so make sure to subscribe! You don’t want to miss it! If you can wait and need some essential oils, check out my site here!
What has helped you with joint pain? I would love to hear in the comments!
Peace and love!