Knee pain and joint pain can be a normal part of the aging process, but that doesn’t mean you have to live in a state of constant discomfort. By eating a mostly raw, plant-based diet, supplementing when needed, and exercising regularly, you can effectively reduce your knee pain. In fact, if your knee pain is the one that bothers you the most, exercise can help reduce that discomfort. As Dr. Willibald Nagler, president of Rehabilitation Medicine at Cornell Medical Center in New York City, told Prevention, when the knee muscles are weak, it causes more pressure and therefore more irritation. However, when you work to strengthen the muscles in these joints, the amount of stress on your knees is limited.
Don’t let your knees get in the way of regular physical activity. With the right forms of exercise, you can continue to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle and even achieve your fitness goals. Consider these exercises to reduce impact and knee discomfort when exercising:
Low impact cardio
One of the best and most well-known forms of low-impact cardio is swimming. This form of exercise is great because it can be practiced at any age, for adults, young and old. As Gaiam explained, swimming is a versatile activity that works all parts of the body while eliminating the impact of running on the knees. As an advantage, pool laps and water aerobics are known to burn calories quickly.
“Exercise, when done right, can help reduce knee pain.”
As Gaiam pointed out, however, there are some precautions to take when swimming with bad knees. Although most swimmers start each lap by pushing the pool wall with their legs, this should be avoided to eliminate stress on the kneecaps. Likewise, the frog kick should not be part of your swimming routine.
If you’ve traditionally been an avid treadmill user before your knees started to bother you, consider switching to elliptical. As Gaiam pointed out, this machine incorporates running without the detrimental effect of sneakers that repeatedly hit concrete. Cycling is another great low-impact cardio option when you try to take it easy with your knees.
Muscle strengthening exercises
As noted above, increasing muscle strength around the knee joints is crucial to relieving pain and pressure. An important rule of thumb when practicing any exercise is to make sure that the knees do not protrude beyond the toes when bending or moving. As Prevention explained, this can cause extra pressure under the kneecap, which is not good for knee comfort.
When it comes to squats, be sure to practice a partial form of exercise. Stand in front of a chair with your feet forward, shoulder-width apart. Move slowly, bend your hips and lower your body halfway to the seat of the chair.
Practice step ups with a bench or an aerobic bench in the gym. Start on one side with your foot flat on the step. Lift the other foot and touch the bench or step before lowering it again. Repeat with the other foot. Make sure your knees are just above your ankles when you go up.
Calf climbs are another good strengthening exercise, according to Active. The best way to perform this movement is to be close to a chair or counter to keep your balance under control. The feet should be hip-width apart and the toes should be facing forward. Slowly pull your heels off the floor until you are on tiptoe. Stay here for a few seconds and then lower your heels to the ground.
Each of the above exercises can be done in 10 to 12 repetitions, depending on the ability. Over time, you can increase the number of repetitions you do in each session.
Stretching and Pilates
As the Harvard Health Letter explained, everyone should practice stretching regularly, even when not exercising. Doing so helps to improve joint mobility, which reduces the risk of injury. Daily stretching improves flexibility and reduces muscle cramping, promoting muscle health.
Another great exercise for those struggling with knee pain or discomfort is Pilates, a low-impact exercise that uses core strength to reduce pressure on muscles and joints in everyday life, the instructor told Simple Most Anne Menner Pilates Certificate. This form of exercise has a low risk of injury and focuses on improving mobility.
In addition to healthy knee exercises, consider incorporating the Hallelujah Joint Health Dietary Supplement into your diet plan. With curcumin, boswellia, astaxanthin and grape seed extract, this supplement can work effectively to help reduce and stop inflammation in the knee. In addition, soy-avocado unsaponifiables, known as ASUs, have been shown to help re-cartilage while minimizing pain. Instead of masking symptoms like traditional over-the-counter medicine, this supplement effectively identifies the source of the discomfort and works to combat it.