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Knees can be a constant source of frustration, especially for people who want to exercise more. However, like anyone who has ever experienced knee pain can tell you, knee injuries almost always flare up when you try extreme cardio. This is particularly true of running, which can be hard on your knees. Knees are the most frequently injured joint in the body for both people who run and people who don’t. The problem is that when we think about getting our heart rate up, running is often the only thing that comes to mind. And because knee injuries can flare up and even worsen with this high-impact exercise, many people are disincentivized to give cardio a go. Nevertheless, there are solutions to this problem that can enable you to get in your dose of cardio without hurting your knees and leading to long-term joint damage. This article lists three exercises that you can start to incorporate into your workout regime today.
Everyone loves the feeling of weightlessness that a pool can give you, especially as you float around on a hot summer day. But pools can be used for so much more than to simply satisfy your lethargy. Swimming can burn calories quickly, and the sense of weightlessness is excellent for your knees. With such low impact, you can do a variety of exercises, from butterflies to backstrokes. Mixing it up not only makes exercising more enjoyable, but you get to work out more parts of your body than just your heart. Major muscle groups like abdominals, glutes, and arm muscles can benefit from doing a few laps around the pool. And besides, who doesn’t like the feeling of cool water on a hot day?
Cycling is one of those low-impact exercises for bad knees that can be helpful for your mind and your body. I know I’m not alone when I say that cycling is amazing because you get to feel faster than you normally would by simply jogging. Regardless of whether you are on a stationary bike indoors, or you have your own bike that you like to take outside, cycling is a fat-burning exercise that actually improves your knee joint strength and flexibility over time. If you’re really nervous about damaging your knees further, avoid riding uphill. Stick to level sidewalks and park trails. This can be especially important for those who are just starting out, as it allows you to build up your stamina without over-exerting yourself or demanding too much from your knee joints. Another helpful tip is to raise the level of your bicycle seat to release some of the pressure that can occur on your knee cap when your seat is too low.
Don’t underestimate the power of simply going for a walk. Walking has a variety of health benefits, one of which is that it is a good ol’ fashioned low-impact cardio exercise. So, your knees will be okay. If you feel like walking is not doing enough to get your heart-rate up, try increasing your speed a little. A nice, brisk pace can maximize the results of your walk. By walking, you will soon realize that there are ways to improve your overall mental and physical wellness without going to any extremes or hurting yourself. Knee pain is a very serious thing, and you shouldn’t need to feel bad if all you can do right now is take a walk.
Your knees will thank you as you take care of yourself. While cardio exercises are an important part of any exercise regime, you don’t need to stick simply to high-impact exercises to try and get results faster. High-impact exercises can and will be detrimental to your knees, as well as other parts of your body, if you are not careful. If knee pain is something you have been dealing with for years, or if you have just begun to experience it, you know how excruciating it can be. By implementing any or all of the exercise tips listed above, you will achieve the results that you want while taking care of your body at the same time.