A good friend of mine for ages used the excuse that they could not exercise because they had bad knees. And to be fair they did have bad knees. They were bad enough where exercise caused them some pain, but not bad enough that they required an urgent operation. Bad knees are a common thing that keeps people out of the gym. But to today I want to share some advice on what to do and what not to do when it comes to exercising with bad knees.
Things That You Can Do Exercising With Bad Knees
Yes walking does require you to use your knees, but walking is nowhere near as bad for your knees as some people would have you believe. Running does cause a great deal of impact on your knees no matter if you are running in the streets or on a treadmill. But by walking, be it around your town, park, whatever or even on a treadmill (which I recommend) you are getting some good exercise without pounding your knees. If you really do want to run though, see if you gym has an elliptical machine as this is a way to kind of mimic running, but without as much stress on your knees.
Swimming is a great workout as it can really give you a whole body workout and there is not any impact at all on your knees. Swimming is the perfect way for those of you who do not want to have to spend the night with an ice pack on your knee after you have worked out. Thanks to the water your knees are not getting any kind of impact on them. Swimming is a great cardio workout and it’s also a great deal of fun as well.
The reason that I say exercise bike and not just cycling is that cycling around town or the woods is pretty unpredictable and cycling uphill can put a great deal of stress onto your knees, so I would not recommend that. But using an exercise bike on a fairly low resistance is a good way to get in some exercise without putting a ton of strain on your knees. Now some people find that exercise bikes still do hurt their knees. In most cases this is because they do not have the seat at the right height for them and the resistance is too high. Make sure the bike is set up for your body size before you start.
Things You Should Not Do Having Bad Knees
Exercises That Make You Flex Your Knees
What I am talking about here are exercises that force you to bend your knees, things such as squats or leg curls. Anything that has the potential to make your kneecap rub against the joints is going to make you have a pain filled evening. Also avoid sports that require a great deal of movement such as basketball and soccer as these can put a ton of pressure on your knees.
Any kind of jumping is an absolute no-no when you have bad knees. Did you know that when you land from a jump the pressure on your knees is 2-3 times that of your body weight! Jumping when you have to bend your knees when you land is even worse! Anything that is causing a great deal of impact on your knees should be avoided if you want to exercise without the knee pain.
You might also find interesting this related article: Why It Is Important To Stay Active And Exercise As You Get Older