When you exercise, you put a lot of strain on your body. You are literally breaking down your muscles with the goal of allowing your body to recover and repair them, resulting in bigger, stronger muscles. If you are someone struggling with the effects of osteoarthritis or you just have bad knees in general, there are many ways to avoid injury while you are at the gym. At Twisted Cycle, we offer indoor cycling classes that are the perfect high-intensity, low-impact solution for anyone who wants to workout hard without risking further knee damage. If this sounds like you or indoor cycling is something you are interested in, continue reading and give us a call today!
Here are a few additional precautions you can take while working out to avoid agitating your poor knees. No one wants to be couch-ridden immediately after a workout with a leaky bag of ice strapped to each knee. We’ve been there, and we know it’s not a happy time.
Avoid High-Impact Exercises
A high-impact exercise is any workout that puts extreme strain on your legs and knees. These types of exercises include jumping rope, running, box jumps and other plyometric activities. If you have bad feet or knees, you will want to avoid high-impact exercises at all costs. These exercises will be very rough on your knees and will eventually result in injury. The workouts you will want to pursue are those that are low-impact. Low-impact exercises are much less jarring on your joints but still get your heart rate up and blood pumping. Low-impact activities include swimming, walking, cycling and time on the elliptical. Many people with joint and knee problems join our indoor cycling classes.
Maybe you aren’t stoked about wearing a brace at the gym for fear it will make you look old or weak. Nonsense. When it comes to physical activity, proper form and safety precautions are priorities. Plus no one cares about how you look because everyone is focused on their own workout! If you are someone who has bad knees, invest in a brace (or pair of braces) and use them! The amount of support you feel will be life-changing and you may find yourself able to pursue activities that you haven’t been comfortable attempting before.
Ice, Ice Baby
Even if your knees don’t hurt after a workout, you still need to ice. Yes, we admitted that icing isn’t the most fun experience, but it is extremely important to help reduce swelling. Again, just because your knees don’t hurt, per se, it doesn’t mean they aren’t inflamed and irritated after your strenuous workout. Take care of your knees. Preventative maintenance makes all the difference when it comes to working out and avoiding injury.
Warm Up And Stretch
Warming up and stretching before (and after) your workouts are a must. When you start an exercise without stretching, your muscles and joints are stiff and cold, which puts you at an astronomically high risk for injury. Again, preventative maintenance is key! Even stretching at home for 10-15 minutes will help maintain range of motion around your joints. You can partake in static stretching, which is kind of like your “classic” method of stretching where you remain in place while you stretch different muscle groups. Or you can pursue dynamic stretching which includes movement—typically movement that mimics the workout you are warming up for. You want to perform both warm-ups and warm-downs, just like you want to stretch before and after a workout. The goal is to keep your muscles and joints flexible and warm at all times.
Sport Proper Footwear
Our parents always told us that you should invest the most money on the two things that you spend the majority of your days on—your feet and your bed. When it comes to finding the right pair of athletic shoes, don’t ever skimp or go for “the cheaper model.” First, find out what kind of arches you have, either high, normal, low or non-existent. Then ask a professional to help you choose a few pairs of shoes that are right for your arches. Try on each pair with the exact type of socks you wear to the gym and go for a walk around the store. If the shoes provide cushioning and stability while still maintaining some flexibility, you’ve found the right fit. This is why we also do not recommend buying athletic shoes online. Always try shoes on before you buy.
We walk and stand on a daily basis, and the amount of strain and pressure we put on our knees is equal to up to five times our body weight. This means that if you are a 180-pound person, you are putting as much as 900 pounds of pressure on your knees, every single day! In this sense, any extra weight you might be carrying definitely does not help the cause. So shed those extra pounds to give your knees a little relief! Be good to your body and it will be good to you!
If you are interested in a high-intensity workout that is joint friendly, check out the classes at Twisted Cycle. We promise to get your blood pumping while still being kind to your knees. We are your premier workout spot in Kennesaw and offer a wide array of classes, including cycling and circuit training. If you’re ready for the best workout ever, stop by or give us a call today!