Walking When You Have Bad Knees
When you have various aches and pains, it can make it difficult to get in regular exercise, let alone start a new fitness routine. While having bad knees, whether from arthritis or a knee replacement, can seem like walking is harder to do, this is actually one of the best exercises you can participate in.
Walking is the Gentlest Form of Exercise
The first thing to remember is that walking is one of the gentlest forms of exercise you can do, meaning it is good for you even if you have bad knees or joint pain. You can control the type of walking you are doing, meaning you can make it as slow and gentle as possible.
If your knees are hurting, avoid complicated walks with uneven ground, like at the park if you’re not on a concrete path, or while going on a hike. Instead, stick to flat ground, without a lot of rocks to walk over. If you are going to walk in your neighborhood, take it slow and steady, going for just 5-10 minute walks at first, and steadily increasing it as you start to gain more strength.
How Walking Helps with Knee Pain
Yes, even if your knees hurt, you can still walk! Of course you want to consult your doctor first, but consider these benefits of walking when you have bad knees:
You strengthen your legs – You will also notice less knee pain overall when your legs are stronger. Build those muscles by having a short walk every day.
You can lose weight – The less pressure you put on your knees from your body weight, the less they are going to hurt. Walking is a great way to lose a little weight without doing anything strenuous.
Your joints become stronger – If you have knee pain from osteoarthritis, you need those joints to become stronger. They are likely damaged from your arthritis, which can cause your knees to feel stiff. Just a little walking every day helps them to start becoming stronger and relieving knee pain.
Tips for Walking With Your Sore Knees
Don’t hurry if it feels a little scary going on walks when you have sore knees. Here are some tips that can help tremendously:
Get cushioned, comfortable shoes - You need to be sure you get shoes that fit you perfectly, paying attention to their width, the insoles, and the arch. You might also want to use orthotic inserts.
Take it slow - If you have bad knees and haven’t done any form of exercise in a while, start slow! Don’t walk more than 5-10 minutes at first, and only increase the amount of time when you feel up to it.
Stretch and warm up - It is very important that you do light stretches and a small warm up to get your joints warm and flexible for your walk.
Remember to talk to your doctor before starting any fitness routine.