Best Physical Activities For People With Joint Problems
Everyone that ever had a knee injury or is often suffering from knee pain knows that it can be really hard to maintain your regular exercise routine without risking a further flare-up of your joint condition. This is due to the fact that a lot of sports put a significant amount of pressure on the knees that might cause a lifelong damage to one’s joints.
If you’re a runner or you’re used to playing sports such as basketball, or football, you were probably discouraged from continuing exercising in your most favorite way. However, you can still find great ways to have your heart beat up and work on your cardio and muscles without stressing your knees. We’re presenting you the best, low impact physical activities that will keep you in shape and protect your joints from additional weight pressure and wearing off.
The first activity that all people that have a problem with joints should consider is swimming. Because the water will support your bodyweight, exercising won’t put additional stress on your knees while you will be working on your muscles.
There are different styles in swimming that accentuate strengthening of different group of muscles, and if you combine them you will get a total body workout while improving your lungs capacity and function. Backstroke will work on your back muscles, and front crawl will make your core stronger. However, be careful if swimming breaststroke, as leg kicks that are a part of this swimming style can place some stress on the outside of your knees.
Cycling is another great sport for anyone with bad joints. Cycling provides a great heart and lungs workout, while working on leg muscles as well. There is a low impact on the joints because the pedals reduce the effort placed on knees. The great thing is that while you’re cycling you’ll be also strengthening your knee muscles which will lower the chances of injuring your knees again.
If you prefer a less intense workout, opt for a higher sit-up bike.
3. Water Aerobics
Although similar to swimming, water aerobics will enable you to have a more entertaining workout. These exercises are usually done in groups, so it is perfect for people that prefer working out in the company of other people. Aerobics in the water will include a lot of arm and leg motions that will engage your muscles and tone your entire body, but won’t have hard impact on your joints, just like with swimming.
4. Cross Trainer
If you’re a fan of the gym, you might have to give up the treadmill, but you can work on the cross trainer instead. This machine won’t have an impact on your knees but will provide you a total body workout. The cross trainer is one of the best machines in the gym and is a great choice for anyone that wants to stay in shape.
If you’re not in great shape yet, you might want to start with slower motions and then slowly increase the speed and intensity.
If you want something that won’t be very intense and includes less cardio, exercising yoga might the perfect choice for you. Thanks to a lot of stretching and strengthening of different muscles, yoga will benefit your joint muscles and keep them stronger and more flexible. You will also work on your breathing which will bring noticeable benefits to your heart and lungs health. However, there might be some Yoga positions that might be a bit too intense for your knees. But don’t worry, just let your Yoga instructor know that you have knee problems, and they will easily find a more comfortable alternative that you will be able to do with no risk of knee injury.
The best way to practice rowing is to do it on a lake or river. However, if you don’t have access to a lake or a river nearby, there are also rowing machines in almost all gyms. Rowing is ideal because there is basically no stress on the joints since you have to sit down while exercising. While it is also an all body workout, it will mostly strengthen your upper body.
7. Strength Training
Although you might think that working with weight machines or free weights isn’t a good idea for someone with weaker joints, the truth is that it can actually be a great alternative to plenty of other sports and activities. The only thing you have to ensure is to do all the exercises in a correct manner. Not doing an exercise in a proper technique might result in a minor injury, which is definitely not preferable in case you already suffer from joint problems. Try doing the strength training with your bodyweight or free weights in controlled, slow motions.