Being overweight can cause you to have sore painful knees. And when you have sore knees, it’s a good excuse to avoid exercise. So the when you avoid exercise, you to gain more weight and hence the catch 22.
Australian researchers studied 297 adults aged 50-79 for over 2 years. During that time, they found that patella (knee-bone) cartilage volume was lost at an annual rate of 1.8 %.
Being overweight or having a high body fat percentage increased the rate of knee cartilage breakdown by over 25%. if you are in this trap, what can you do?
First, you will need to avoid certain types of exercise for 4-6 weeks, (squats, lunges, running, jumping). But there are lots of other exercises that you can do to build the muscles around your knees – for support and to burn calories. Plus, you can always improve your diet, the number one way to kick-start a weight-loss program.
To burn calories, you can do interval training on “cross-trainer” or “elliptical” machines. These are low-impact exercises, and still allow you to work at a relatively high intensity. Most health clubs gyms and facilities such as Curves have numerous low impact choices.
Swimming is another good interval-training option as is brisk walking for 20-30 minutes 3 or more times per week. Even if you work there are options like an after dinner walk that you can do with a neighbor or partner. This also aids in digestion and assimilation, so there is another reason to become motivated.
To strengthen the muscles around your knees, lie on the floor and do hip extensions, 1-leg hip extensions, and stability ball leg curls. Any personal trainer will be able to show you these basic exercises.
Eventually, as you lose weight and gain strength, you can progress to bodyweight squats, and then try a variety of single-leg exercises. So while your knees may be sore now, they can get stronger, with less pain as you lose weight and strengthen the supporting muscles.
Naturally the process is hastened with a reduced calorie diet and choices that include only healthy fats.
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