The benefits of low-impact aerobic exercises in helping knee problems are huge. There are multiple benefits in using aerobics for knee strengthening exercises including building up the muscles round the knee, weight loss and stimulating the body to release its natural painkillers, endorphins. Here is some brief information on each of these benefits.
There are muscle groups around the knee that help to support the knee joint by absorbing a lot of the shock that would otherwise be transferred to the knee joint. Toning and strengthening these muscles using low-impact aerobics helps these muscles take a lot of stress away from the knee.
Another benefit of an aerobic exercise routine in your knee exercise program is weight loss. Being overweight is one of the biggest causes of knee pain and knee problems. It has been shown that when walking, the knee is subjected to impact equivalent to three times your body weight. Just imagine what this would be if you were running. Keeping your weight down therefore reduces this shock on the knee joint.
When we exercise using aerobics, the body releases its own natural painkillers called endorphins. These help to reduce pain in the knee joint.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE AND AFTER EXERCISING
To ensure proper function of our bodies, including the heart and lungs, we all should do some sort of aerobic exercise. What we need to avoid when exercising is putting the weight bearing joints. knees, ankles and hips, under a lot of stress. Avoiding high impact exercises and using low impact exercises, like low impact aerobic exercises, will assist in preventing knee and other joint problems and in ensuing knee and joint pain is minimized.
Before starting an aerobic exercise session, it is important warm up properly. A few minutes of walking and some stretching exercises will allow a regular warm up. Important muscles to stretch are the hamstrings and quadriceps, the knee supporting muscles.
Do not “over-exercise”. When muscles get tired, their shock absorbing abilities are dramatically reduced. This means that the joints, ligaments and tendons take the extra stress so making them more susceptible to injury.
Allow your body to repair itself by exercising only every other day. “Over use” injuries are common and so easily avoided.
If you are pregnant it is important to check with your medical practitioner or physiotherapist on the safety of your exercise routine. When pregnant, the body releases hormones that causes tendons and ligaments to become looser and increases the flexibility of the pelvic bones. This can increase the risk of exercise related injuries to joints, especially if doing high impact exercises.
THE BEST LOW-IMPACT AEROBIC EXERCISES
If you have any knee problems or knee pain, check with your medical professional or physiotherapist before concluding aerobics to ensure the exercises are safe.
WALKING – Walking is a great low-impact exercise but there are some guidelines you must follow.
Walk at a slower pace for a few minutes when you first start, to warm up.
Only walk on even and level surfaces.
Wear proper shoes that provide cushioning in the soles and support.
Slowly increase the intensity of the walking and gradually build up to around 45 – 60 minutes.
Be careful to not over exert yourself.
SWIMMING – Swimming is a great aerobic exercise because it puts no impact stresses on the joints and gives the muscles an excellent workout. Highly recommended.
OTHER WATER BASED EXERCISES – Water based exercises are recommended as the water's natural buoyancy properties supports most of your body's weight, taking load off the knee joints. Exercising in water is excellent for strengthening muscles as they must work harder to overcome the resistance of the water.
CROSS TRAINERS OR ELLIPTICAL TRAINERS – These provide intense cardio exercise with low impact on the knees. They also exercise most of the body's main muscle groups, including those that support the knee joint, and can be an excellent method to lose weight.
EXERCISE BIKES (Stationery) – These provide excellent low-impact cardio workouts like the cross trainers but there are a few important points to know about.
Set the seat height so your knees do not bend more than 90 degrees.
When the pedal is at its farthest point from you, your knee should be slightly bent.
If you suffer from lower back problems, a recumbent bike may be the answer. These usually offer cushioned support for the back and better seating. However, a recumbent bike will give a lower intensity workout than a conventional exercise bike.
Low-impact aerobic exercises can provide huge benefit in preventing knee injuries and knee problems and also in providing knee rehabilitation exercises following knee surgery or knee pain treatment.
Always consult with your medical professional before embarking any exercise routine.