If you have a dodgy knee, you may think cycling will exacerbate it. A dodgy knee is often brought about due to injuries, over-training, and arthritis. And many people get knee pain when they become overweight. The knee suffers while you lug those excess pounds around.
Cycling is one of the best options to consider if you are looking for a low impact exercise for fitness. It goes easy on your weight-bearing joints like the hip, knee, and feet unlike running. It improves fitness and cardio-vascular ability leading to overall general wellness.
Here is how cycling can help your knee pain-
Burning The Excess Calories
Stopping regular exercise is bound to make you put on weight. The extra pounds not only cause but often exacerbate a painful knee condition. Many studies show a correlation between excess weight and the slow healing of painful knee conditions.
Cycling will let you burn calories without worrying about your painful knee. And when you shed weight, your knees will be put under lesser stress and will become less painful. As a bonus, you will also keep your heart and circulation healthy.
You can use a cycle to commute. It burns calories too! You can even try a cheap electric bike under 1000 dollar, which is so popular nowadays for your daily ride to work. It runs on both pedal power and electricity. When cycling gets too tough, you can switch to electric power.
Allows You To Set The Pace
Cycling lets you adjust the intensity of your workout. Upright stationary bicycles or the Recumbent stationary bikes can give a rigorous workout to people with different fitness levels- from an Olympic athlete to a novice or a senior citizen. This allows you to workout at your own pace and convenience.
For those with knee pain, research shows that low-intensity cycling is very beneficial. It is almost as effective as a high-intensity workout for decreasing pain, improving function and gait, and increasing aerobic fitness.
Strengthens Muscles And Bones
Regular low-intensity cycling promotes a range of motion at the hip and knee to strengthen the muscles and bones on the front of your thighs. It also makes your glutes and hamstrings strong. Strong muscles and bones support and protect your joints from stress. In addition to reducing your knee pain, it will also boost your gait and posture.
Gets The Juices Flowing
The movement involved in cycling lubricates your joints and helps reduce stiffness and pain. A well-oiled knee will heal faster and resist wear and tear. An early morning low-intensity workout will keep your knee nimble and less painful for the rest of the day.
Some Tips To Get You Started
- Consider buying an Upright stationary bicycle or an outdoor bike with as high a seating that you can handle comfortably. An elevated seat position puts less strain on your knees. Also, for those with arthritis, a high handlebar will minimize stress on the back and neck.
- Start with a less intense setting and gentle movements. It will warm you up and get the juices flowing. Once you feel comfortable, you can increase the intensity. Go for a short ride in an easy route if cycling outdoors.
- Do not push yourself in the beginning. That’s the surest way of exacerbating your knee pain. In the beginning, workout lightly in short sessions. Step up when comfortable gradually, over some time.
- Learn to trust any signal that your body gives you. This will help you to stop even before it hurts. When you notice something amiss, stop immediately.
- Pick the right equipment and ensure the most comfortable perch.
- Stretch during the rest days or when the knee pain gets so bad as to prevent you from getting a workout. Stretching will keep your limbs supple and the joints in good shape.
Many people are led to believe that cycling leads to knee problems. This, however, is true only for professional cyclists. The amount of cycling they do makes them prone to knee problems. It is like the tennis elbow that professional tennis players are prone to.
Cycling for fitness, however, doesn’t unduly stress your knees. Because here, you perform less rigorous workouts by easily adjusting the intensity levels. You are in total control and never push yourself beyond what you can comfortably do.
Cycling is one of the best low-impact exercises. It is great for your knee pain, it strengthens your heart and lungs, and improves muscle function. So, if you are looking for a low impact exercise for knee pain and fitness, cycling is one of the best options.