A common complaint I hear from patients with painful knees is they can’t control their weight because they can’t walk very far. No doubt that if you are having a bad flare-up of inflammation in your knees (or hip, ankle, foot, back), it is nearly impossible to do the recommended “20-minute a day” walk or other cardiovascular exercise. You feel trapped in that cycle of having a painful knee that stops you from exercising, and you can’t lose weight to help overcome your knee problem. You continue to gain weight and your knee problem worsens. There is a simple solution.
Low impact exercising will not aggravate your sensitive knee. If you belong to a gym, you can experiment with the different machines such as an exercise bike, elliptical machine, swimming, or any of the newer machines that help you burn calories. Changing from one machine to the next every 5-10 minutes can even lessen the stress to your painful joint more. You need 20 minutes of continuous exercise in your target zone to burn calories at your body’s maximum potential. Your target zone is determined by your age ……… On average an easy target to remember is a heart rate of 20 beats in ten seconds. You can feel your heart rate at your carotid artery in your neck our at your radial artery in your wrist.
Most people don’t belong to a gym, or those with memberships don’t have time to get there every day. Seated zumba is the answer for you. While doing seated zumba, you will sit in a chair without sides and add a light weight in each hand. Put on your favorite music and move all four extremities at once. You can march in place, do jumping jacks, and create your own moves using your arms and legs at the same time.
The key is to work up a sweat and to be breathing heavy. That usually means you are in your target zone. If you have an exercise machine at home, alternate it with your seated zumba, switching off every five minutes until you get your minimum 20-minute workout. Gradually work your way up to 20 minutes. For best results work up to 30 minutes.
If you combine this with a high protein, low carbohydrate anti-inflammatory nutrition plan you will amazed at how easy it is to successfully manage your weight and help control your back and lower extremity orthopedic pain.