Whether your knee problems because of aging, arthritis, genetics or sports injuries, learning how to take care of your knees is important. Living with knee pain can be a Catch-22. You have knee pain, so you don’t want to exercise. But without exercising, your pain and mobility won’t improve.
While it can be difficult to start an exercise routine, it’s important to stay active. Recent research shows that exercise is one of the key methods of treating knee pain without surgery and medications.
Here are some of the best and worst exercises you can do if you have bad knees.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put pressure on your knees. It works nearly every muscle in your body and can reduce joint stiffness, increase endurance and build muscle. Head to your local gym to get in some laps or take a water aerobics class.
High impact exercises like running can be hard on the body because they put stress on the joints. Speed walking or swapping the elliptical instead of the treadmill can reduce impact during a good workout.
BEST: Tai Chi
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that focuses on slow, rhythmic and meditative body movements. It can reduce pain and increase knee function, according to a medical study published by Tufts Medical Center.
Lunges, an exercise where you step forward or backward and lower your hips to a 90-degree angle, can put stress on your knees, causing pain. Decrease your range of motion by doing a modification instead.
BEST: Calf and Leg Raises
Build strength in your lower body by doing calf and leg raises. For calf raises, use a chair or wall for balance as you lift your heels off the floor. To do a leg raise, put your back against a wall and slowly raise one leg 12 inches from the ground. Repeat with your other side.
WORST: Deep Squats
When you lower your body to perform a squat, your knees move forward, putting more pressure on your joints. If you experience pain, try a modified squat by lowering yourself onto a bench or chair instead.
How do you stay active with knee pain? Let us know by commenting below!
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.