Many seniors want to exercise, but they struggle with knee pain. If you are having knee joint pain, can’t take the risk of jogging, running, or jumping around in a Zumba class, then this article is for you.
Knee Pain With Age
Many studies have shown a large percentage of older adults suffer from frequent knee pain, which can affect their mobility, quality of life, and even doing day-to-day routine functions. Women are more likely to suffer knee pain than men and this increases with age. Studies have also shown that being overweight is a major risk factor, which makes exercising even more important to maintain a healthy weight.
Knee joint wear-and-tear is a natural part of aging. Nevertheless, you still need to increase your heart rate with an aerobic workout, maintain a healthy weight and continue to build or at least maintain strong muscles. So, the question is how can you workout without risking damage to your knee joint?
You need to choose your exercises carefully so that knee pain doesn’t exacerbate.
You can do some form of aerobic exercise, which raises your heart rate and also burns fat. The goal is to reduce fat and increase lean muscle mass as you age.
5 Exercises That Are Safe for Your Knees
Here are the 5 best exercises that you can do safely without further hurting your knee joints:
Whether indoor on a treadmill or outdoors, walking remains an excellent way to raise your heart rate and warm up before strength training. Depending on your fitness level, you can include into your routine some cardio walking bursts that are 1- to 3-minutes long. If you use a treadmill, you can try adding a few intervals of speed and/or incline.
Sit to Stands
This exercise imitates the natural function when you sit on a chair, then stand. The safe way is to use about an 18-inch box, equivalent to the standard height of a chair. However, if you have knee pain, you can increase the height of the seat so that you don’t have to squat so deeply.
Keep in mind that when seated your feet are about shoulder-width apart with chest up, shoulders back and abdominal muscles tight. Make sure your knees don’t go beyond your toes when seated, while standing up and sitting back. You can repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times.
Watch this video to learn how to chair squats properly:
Seated Leg Extensions
Sit tall with chest high, back straight, shoulders back, and tight abdominal muscles. Keep one leg at 90-degree and the other leg stretched out. With the toe pointed up, raise the stretched leg parallel to the floor. Repeat on each side, 10 to 15 times.
You can try doing this exercise while sitting on a stability ball for added balance and abdominal work.
This exercise helps to strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push through your heels to raise your hips. Squeeze your glutes, and then lower the glutes back down to the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
If you want to stay active for the rest of your life, you will need a strong core. Planks help you develop a strong core.
There are many ways to perform planks. The easiest form is straight arm planks.
Straight Arm Planks
(i) Make sure your hands, elbows, and shoulders are aligned, hips are tucked in, and core tight (so your body forms a straight line from head to heels).
(ii) If you are a beginner, start on an 18-inch box; when this becomes easier, reduce the height until you can perform a straight-arm plank on the floor. Try holding the position for fifteen to thirty seconds, then increase the duration few seconds each time. Once you can hold the plank for 1 minute, reduce the height of the surface where you place your hands to make the plank a bit more difficult.
(iii) Proper Front Plank: If you want to do a more challenging plank in its proper form then do this plank variation.
Lie on your stomach with your forearms pressed into the floor. While maintaining your back straight, squeeze your glutes, quads, and abdominal muscles, and then push yourself up and off the floor. Make sure your lower back and shoulder blades don’t sag downward. Try to hold for 10-20 seconds, and then return to the floor. Once it becomes easier for you, gradually increase the duration up to one minute.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”