The knee is the largest joint in the body. The surface of the bones inside the knee joint is covered by articular cartilage, which absorbs shock and provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint movement. Most people have had a minor knee problem at one time or another from everyday wear and tear. Athletes are much more prone to knee injuries as they most often occur during sports due to overuse. However many injuries occur during everyday life such as recreational activities, work-related tasks, and home projects. If you have bad knees it is important to take precautions to not worsen the injury. Some activities you should refrain from if you are having pain are stair climbing, jogging, or jumping which stress joints and other tissues which can lead to irritation and inflammation. So what cardio exercises can you do? Before you risk worsening your injury, try one of these:
Swimming will workout major muscle groups in your body including your glutes, abdominals, and chest muscles. Freestyle, which tends to be the fastest stroke, can burn 100 calories every 10 minutes which is much more than jogging! If you are looking for a great workout that is low impact, this is the one for you.
If you are used to doing your cardio on a treadmill, choose an elliptical instead for minimal risk of knee injury. While exercising on an elliptical, your feet never leave the pedals, which means there is less of a chance to injure not only your knees, but back, neck and hips as well. Increase the resistant to really test your endurance and get a great workout
Cycling will not only prevent knee injuries but will also increase strength and endurance. Cycling mainly uses the legs but also incorporates upper-body muscles such as the chest, back, biceps, triceps and shoulders for stabilization and performing maneuvers. Whether you prefer hitting a stationary bike indoors or riding your bicycle outside, you’ll get a fantastic fat-burning workout that will gradually improve your knee flexibility and strength.
You don’t have to put your life on hold because of a knee injury but be sure to take proper care of yourself and refrain from any activities or exercises that can worsen the injury. If pain persists, visit your local Physical Therapist and seek treatment. The longer your injury goes untreated, the worse it will become. Remember, nothing is more important than your health and well-being.
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