If you have arthritis of the knees, exercise should still be a part of your lifestyle. The key is to know the right exercises and the right way to do them.

There is some evidence that appropriately-designed exercise programs can decrease the pain of knee arthritis in particular earlier stages of the condition. 

Exercise brings blood and nutrients to the cartilage, making it more effective at protecting and guiding your joints during movement. Exercise also improves muscle strength. Stronger muscles are able to carry body weight more efficiently, relieving some of the burden put on the joints.

Swimming is a great exercise to relieve pain in the knees. It helps with stiffness and strengthening the muscles around your joints. It is also a great exercise for bones. It can also help with weight loss or maintaining weight. When starting with swimming it’s recommended to start with 30 minutes a day. 

Cycling is also another sport that can help to relieve pain. It can be used as an alternative medicine to help with pain control. Cycling is a low-impact activity that is appealing to many athletes. It allows many different gears to be explored. In order to put less stress on the knees, the pedal should revolve over 80 times per minute. Spinning in an easier gear will put less stress on the joint.

Running can increase your overall wellness and help control weight. This can reduce the amount of stress on your knees and lessen the overall impact of arthritis. If running hasn’t been a part of your exercise routine and you find that you’d like to start, talk with your doctor. They can discuss your individual benefits and risks and provide guidance on next steps.

 Other tips

  • Invest in sneakers that are comfortable and provide proper support.
  • Always warm up before exercising. Stretching can help open up your joints and reduce the level of impact on your knees.
  • If your joints are already sore, apply heat before exercising to reduce potential stiffness.

However, performing the “wrong” exercise or using poor form may increase pain or inflict damage on the joint. 

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop exercising until you can see your doctor:

  • increased swelling
  • sharp, stabbing, or constant pain
  • pain that causes you to limp or change your gait
  • joints that feel warm to the touch or are red
  • pain that lasts more than two hours after exercise or worsens at night

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