Low-impact exercises can benefit those with injuries

Published On: Aug 30 2012 09:46:00 AM CDT   Updated On: Sep 10 2012 10:42:12 AM CDT
Woman listening to headphones on beach

By Meredith, Pure Matters

As you probably know already from all the in-depth studying you've been doing of my biography, I ruined my right knee in 2009 playing hockey. Even after surgery and months of physical therapy, it never quite got back to normal. (Not only did I give up hockey, I gave up high heels. It was a traumatic experience to say the least.) To this day, my knee aches after a workout and if you put your ear up close to it, you can hear it creaking. Running was not helping matters … I limped for days after my last run.

Don't worry: I'm not giving up! Instead, I'm focusing on lower-impact activities. I can't be the only one with a bum set of legs, so I thought I'd share my slate of activities with all of you -- regardless of your fitness level, there's probably something here everyone can enjoy.

Biking

As you also know from studying my biography … I can't ride a real bike. I can, however, ride a stationary bike. Anyone who's undergone rehab following knee surgery knows that bikes are a big part of it -- you get a really nice stretch on your leg, you get your heart rate up and a small calorie burn (about 125 calories the last 30-minute set I did). Of course, your calorie burn varies by your gender, weight, and how fast you're pedaling.

Swimming

If the weather where you are is anything like the weather where I am … it's the perfect time for laps. Not only does swimming completely take the pressure off my knee, it's a great cardio workout (even if you don't feel yourself sweating while you're in the water … you are). Start off slow, with just a few laps, 5 or 10, and you'll really be able to add more and more quickly.

Pilates / Yoga

A new pilates studio opened up down the street from my house -- so you can bet I'll be signing up for a weekly beginners class. Pilates is all about developing your core -- repeated movements tone your legs, abs, arms and back. It'll be a little bit of a workout for my knees, but what'll really hurt the day after class are my abs. In a good way, of course!

Upper-Body Weight Lifting

Weight-lifting is always an activity I overlook … but if I'm going to have a bum knee, I might as well have toned arms. One of my favorite pieces of equipment is the Body Bar, which is one weight (which tucks away easily into a closet) that you can use to do a variety of exercises -- bicep curls, tricep curls, you can even incorporate one into your crunches -- and best of all … you can use it in front of the TV!

Source: http://blog.purematters.com/fitness/runkeeper-week-no-3-update-there-is-no-update