But a lot of high impact exercises can be disastrous on your joints — spinning might seem like a great idea, but the wear and tear it inflicts on people’s knees will be keeping physiotherapists in business for a long time.
If you’ve been put off jogging, and cycling just doesn’t seem like it’ll be any good for you, here are some exercise tips that will make sure your knees remain in good health.
If you’re a little overweight and trying to lose some of it to feel more fit and healthy, immediately starting high impact exercise won’t be particularly good for your joints, so swimming is the perfect option to begin with. The water cushions your body and fully supports you, meaning that the only aches and pains you’ll have after you get out of the water will be from exercise well done. If your local pool offers swimming classes to enable people to feel more confident in the water, sign yourself up.
One of the best things about yoga is that it really encourages you to listen to your body so that you can push yourself without pushing yourself too far, ending up in pain. There are different sorts of yoga classes – start off with hatha yoga, which focuses on breathing and stretching. It’s the most popular form of yoga and there are plenty of beginners’ classes available. Yoga instructors will tell you to do exactly what you feel capable of doing, meaning that you won’t put too much stress on your joints and end up in pain. Instead, you’ll feel well rested, relaxed, flexible and mentally together after your yoga classes.
If you want to get your blood pumping and your heart rate up, cardio exercises are a great idea for your fitness journey. Make sure you avoid exercises like deep squats and instead focus on step ups and calf raises. Partial squats can also work to exercise your knees and quads without hurting your knees. If you’re into gym machines, why not go for the elliptical instead of the treadmill? Your feet won’t leave the pedals, which makes it a much more low impact exercise.
Dancing is, without question, one of the most fun low impact exercises that you can do. You might look at a dance or Zumba class and think that it can’t be for you, but the truth is that there are low impact classes that won’t hurt your knees at all – the cardinal rule of low impact dance is that one of your feet should remain on the floor at all times instead of doing other exercises like jumping jacks. Elements of other exercises like yoga, martial arts and kickboxing might also be brought into your dance aerobics class.
One of the most classic examples of low impact exercise, walking is great for you in many ways. It can improve your mental health and you can also use it as an excuse to leave the car at home and help out the environment too. Whether you’re taking your dog for a walk around the block or just enjoying the summer sun, make sure that you invest in a pair of walking shoes that support your ankles and the arches of your feet. There are probably local beauty spots that you’ve never really explored before, so why not go off there to find a whole new world? Make it into a social occasion by taking a picnic and your loved ones.
When you’re focusing on exercises that won’t hurt your knees, you need to remember that low impact is the key to success, and that you need to have fun at the same time.