If you suffer from knee pain it can be painful to just get up and move around, let alone exercise. If you would love to be fit and healthy, but this just feels like an impossible task, you might need to use one or all of these workarounds to help you get closer to reaching your fitness goals.
1: Do it from the couch
There are plenty of exercises that you can do while sitting down. As long as your body is moving, it still counts as exercise. To get your heart rate up even higher, add in some light/moderate weights.
If you don’t have any dumbbells at home you can use a full water bottle or cans of food to act as resistance. Some of the exercise that you can do while sitting down include:
-Knee lifts – Sitting up straight on the edge of your chair, lift one or both knees up towards your chest
-Leg extensions – In the same starting position, extend one leg out until it is almost straight (or to a point that you are comfortable with) and then slowly bend it to bring your foot back down to the ground)
-Slow low arm circles
-Sit to stand repetitions (as tolerated)
-Heel lifts – Sit on the edge of your chair with feet flat on the ground, then place palms of your hands on your thighs and lift your heels off the ground then lower back to the floor. Leaning forward more put more pressure on your thighs for your calf muscles to push against.
2: Use a Swiss ball
Swiss balls, otherwise known as fit balls, are a great way to build up your fitness while taking the pressure off your knees. Sitting on a fit ball you can perform the following exercises:
-Side steps + biceps curls
-Heel taps + rowing
-Sideways leg extensions
-Seated hip circles
3: Bed exercises
You might find that getting down on the floor is impossible (or getting back up might be). Doing exercises in bed may be much easier for you. You can complete a workout that includes supine exercises and improve your strength and fitness with these exercises:
-Cycling your legs in the air
-Straight leg lifts
-Leg extensions (bending and straightening your knees)
-Boxing (laying down and punching the air in front of you)
4: Water aerobics
Many local pools offer low-cost water aerobics classes. If the thought of taking an aerobics class seems way above what you could manage, consider this- the water makes you virtually weightless, and so you can workout muscles that you otherwise may not be able to due to your joint pain.
Not sure about a group class? Simply get into the pool in one of the off-peak times, and walk laps up and down the pool. The resistance of the water allows for a really effective workout burning more calories than just going for a walk around the block.
5: Deep water running
Another great option for a group exercise class- you strap a floatation device around you that lifts your feet off the pool floor so that you can perform a variety of different exercises in the pool all while floating on top of the water. A great option for anyone that isn’t a very confident swimmer.
Not sure about this option? Test out a pool noodle or floatation board on your own, or simply swim laps. Also great ways to get moving!
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