How To Exercise With Bad Joints
As you grow older, you may experience a deterioration of your bones and muscles. For many people, the knees are one of the first joints to wear out because they are used every time you need to move from point A to point B. Knee damage can occur in younger folks as well, particularly in active and athletic youth who may experience serious knee injuries. If you have bad knees, you may feel as if exercising is no longer a valid option because of the pain or discomfort. However, with a little bit of knowledge and the correct equipment, you can learn how to work out with a bad knee and still gain the body that you want to have.
Let us first begin with exercises you should avoid.
1. Avoid exercises that force your knees to flex.
When you flex your knees, you put undue pressure on the bones in that joint as well as the kneecap itself. This undue pressure may cause the kneecap and the joints to grind up against each other, or it may cause discomfort in your knee ligaments and tendons. Some example exercises that put pressure on your knees are full squats and leg presses and these kinds of exercises with bad joints.
2. Avoid exercises that involve sudden or awkward movements for your knees.
Any activity that involves a lot of agility, e.g., basketball or tennis, will put uneven stresses on your knee joints. Quick and sudden movements are dangerous for weak or uncomfortable knees as they tend to aggravate the problem.
3. Avoid exercises that involve any amount of jumping.
When you jump, both of your knees must withstand a force equal to about 2 to 3 times your body weight.
When your knees need to deal with that much weight, the chance of injury is greatly increased. Light jumping or hopping should be fine, but be sure to avoid any activity that involves jumping with deep bends at the knees.
When you exercise with bad joints, you become increasingly aware of your limitations, and it is best to listen to your body.
Ok, so now that we have covered the things you should avoid, how about the exercises that you can do. Well low impact is the name of the game here.
It’s true that walking involves movement in the knees, but it is a safe exercise for those with knee problems. Walking is a great, low-impact activity and a great one to exercise with bad joints. This means your knees won’t experience as much stress as they would if you were, for example, running.
If you have access to a gym, consider running on an elliptical machine because it allows you to go through the motions of running without the hard impact of hitting the ground with your feet.
Many people believe that jogging will inevitably lead to arthritis, but that isn’t completely true. If you have a history of injury to your knees, then jogging should likely be avoided because knee injuries are a risk factor towards long-term knee arthritis. However, if your knees haven’t experienced many injuries, then light or medium jogging can be great.
Because of the buoyancy of water, swimming is a great way to involve your whole body in exercise while taking the stress of body weight off of your knees. Swimming hard and fast is an excellent way to maintain cardiovascular health. Just be sure to avoid movements that involve your knees, such as the breaststroke.
4. Ride a bicycle.
Like running an elliptical machine, bicycle riding is a low-impact activity that takes some undue stress off of the knees. However, when riding a bicycle, do not ride up steep hills and do not set the incline to be too high on an indoor cycle. While riding a bicycle is low-impact, too much resistance may cause too much pressure for your knees to handle.
5. Perform exercises that do not involve movement of the knees.
Any exercise that locks your knees into a single position can be good. For hips, lie down on your back and perform straight-leg raises. For abs, most variations of the crunch should be fine. For calves, perform calf raises. For the upper body, perform pushups, pull-ups, and dips.
So as you can see, it is certainly possible to exercise with bad joints and only involves changing some routines and thinking of new ways to do things. We think that swimming is definitely one of the best exercises you can do even if your joints are healthy and supple because of the many benefits it provides. You can also consider supplementing your diet by choosing the correct kinds of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. However, it is also important