Most overweight and obese people use their knee pain as an excuse to escape a daily exercise regime. However, the extra weight often contributes to knee pain by putting excess pressure on the knees. Exercise helps reduce this pain by building muscles around the knees to increase their strength and resistance. So, whether your knee pain is due to other medical issues or as a result of excess weight, here are some exercises that will help you burn fat-without hurting your knees:
For extreme knee pain that may or may not be accompanied by a cardiovascular condition, low-impact walking can be a highly effective starter exercise for weight loss and pain relief. To accustom yourself and your stiff joints to the exercise, start with 10-15-minute sessions and gradually work up to 30-60 minutes a day.
Water exercises minimize the impact and pressure on the knees and other joints and increase their flexibility. Moreover, the drastically reduced overall body weight in water allows you to exercise longer without any strenuous effort or tiring out; making swimming the fastest, most effective weight loss option. Simple exercises like reverse kicking, walking, and freestyle swimming can burn up to 100 calories for every 10 minutes.
An elliptical trainer burns almost the same number of calories, while also reducing the heavy impact of a treadmill on the knees, hips and back by keeping the feet grounded on the pedals. However, remember to start with at least 30 minutes and gradually work up to 60-minute sessions to reap the full fat-burning benefits. Also try increasing the resistance to test your limits and further increase your calorie deficit.
Be it stationary cycling or outdoor bicycles, this particular form of exercise is a highly effective fat-burner that also improves knee strength and flexibility.
However, fitness beginners should start with low pedal resistance to allow stamina-building and avoid over-exertion, and gradually work up to higher resistances to build knee and leg muscle strength. Also, slightly raise the seat level and opt for flat terrains over hills to avoid extra knee pressure.
5-Some Specific Cardio Exercises:
Hamstring Stretch: While sitting at the edge of a chair, straighten one leg in front of you with the heel on the floor and toes pointing upwards. Now sit up straight and try pushing your abdominal/navel muscles towards your thigh without leaning forward. Lower and repeat alternately with each leg 3 times.
Hamstring Curls: While lying flat on your stomach, slowly bring your heels as close to your butt as possible and hold for 10-15 seconds. Return to original position and repeat in 3 sets of 15 repetitions each. You can also try standing while holding on to a chair back for this exercise.
Calf Raise: Stand while facing the back of a chair and raise your heels slowly as high as possible. Hold for 10-15 seconds, lower, and repeat in 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions each.
Calf Stretch: While lightly gripping and facing a chair back, straighten one leg behind you and the other in front; only slightly bent. Keep both heels planted on the floor and slowly lean your torso towards the chair top. Hold for a few seconds, switch legs, and continue to repeat for 1 minute.
Straight Leg Raise: Bend one leg at a 90o angle and keep the foot flat on the floor while lying on your back. Straighten the other leg, tighten the thigh muscles (quadriceps), and raise it at a 45o angle. Hold for 1-2 seconds, lower, switch legs, and repeat alternately in 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
Front Kicks: While standing with your feet hip-width apart and arms bent in front of you, lift up your right leg with the knee slightly bent and ankle flexed, and kick your right foot forward. Lower, switch legs, and repeat as long as desired.
Step Ups: Using either a step-ladder or stairs, put your right foot on the first step, tap it with your left foot, switch legs, and repeat 10 times alternately. Make sure that your left knee is directly over your ankle while stepping up.
Although you may experience mild discomfort during exercise that often resolves with continued practice, stop exercising immediately and consult with your doctor in case of severe knee pain.
You can also try setting a tailored exercise plan according to your condition with your doctor, or book an appointment with a top Orthopedic Specialist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your skeletal fitness concerns.