4 Alternatives to Running for Those with Knee Pain

If you’ve been experiencing knee pain or stiffness, then it may be that mobility is a little harder for you to do on a day-to-day basis. This can be disheartening, especially if you’ve become accustomed to exercise that requires the use of good knee health, such as running.

Thankfully, while there are many treatment options available for painful or stiff knees, not least of which is knee replacement surgery, in the meantime you can also consider a few worthwhile alternatives to your usual exercise regimen.

Of course, before engaging in any of these alternatives, we would recommend that you visit your doctor and take their advice first and foremost. If that advice is contradicted by anything in this article, always disregard the advice here and listen to your doctor first.

With that out of the way, let’s consider some helpful alternatives you may be able to use with your doctor’s permission, or slowly build back up to after your knee treatment has been successful:

Low-Impact Cycling

Low-impact cycling can make a profound difference to your exercise regimen. It might seem as though cycling can be impactful on your knees, but that’s only if you’re standing up or cycling at a high resistance rate. With a low-resistance setting or a comfortable seat on an exercise bike, you’ll be surprised at how the natural rotation of your legs will be ergonomic for your knees and maybe surmountable even if you’re encountering issues. 

Moreover, exercise bikes with good flywheels are often rather cheap, so if you’re having a tough time walking long distances outside of your household, this can be a healthy method of retaining your exercise regimen. You can also review the full line of CUBII products and see if a stationery elliptical bike you can use while seated will work for you. Just make sure to take it easy no matter which item you may choose!

Underwater Aerobics & Swimming

Swimming is excellent for those with joint issues because the water helps suspend your weight and only requires a little effort to maintain. Swimming classes can be very helpful, with light strokes from one end of the pool to another.

In some cases, water aerobics such as stretches and dynamic movements supported by the water can be a fantastic way to get exercise and practice breathing control without having to worry about your joint pain. There’s a reason classes like this are so popular among the elderly population, for example, because it doesn’t discriminate. Of course, a basic good level of swimming is important before you enroll in classes like this, but you may also be able to find classes designed for those just getting started.

Compound Lifting

It may sound contrary to usual expectations, but compound weightlifting, if performed properly, can be performed without damaging or harming your knees. It may even help to strengthen your joints and the musculature surrounding them.

With the knees oriented outwards correctly, your hips carry all of the weight and generate the thrust used to power up out of the bottom. You can also learn to box squat correctly without harming your knees, which can be helpful for those with chronic knee tendonitis.

Starting off with just the barbell and with the guided eye of a friend, this can be a vital and healthy exercise to learn. It may also help unlock hip flexibility, which of course, is important if your knees are stiff and difficult to work with.

Yoga & Pilates

Yoga is considered a fairly strenuous yet meditative discipline, but it can absolutely be designed around those who may have knee issues. Certain stretches and movements may be limited or alternated, but you’ll be surprised just how much doing so can help strengthen your muscles and flexibility.

That’s why yoga is considered suitable for people for all ages – there will always be a level that can accommodate you, and if you need to miss out on certain movements as you train others, that’s absolutely valid too. This way, you can avoid feeling as though you’re a burden on the class when you’re not, and thanks to the exercise effort involved with yoga, you’ll be certain to get a great workout every time.

Moreover, yoga is also a rather meditative act. Building this concentration and focus can be very relieving if you’re dealing with the emotional troubles that come along with managing a chronic health condition or controlling pain. 

With this advice, you’re sure to benefit from the best running alternatives for those with knee pain or limitations. Just make sure to always plan out your regimen in line with your physical needs, and know it’s always best to go slowly, with good form, as opposed to trying to maintain an athletic performance, which could only exacerbate your issues.

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