Movement is one of the fundamental signs of life, and your cardiovascular health depends on movement. But with advancing age, there is some inevitable wear and tear of the cartilage that protects your joints, resulting in joint pain and stiffness. Some people wrongly assume they can protect their joints by minimizing their activity. This is actually counterproductive. When it comes to your joints - you have to use them or you lose them!
The key here is to make sure the movements you perform during your cardiovascular workout out don't damage the cartilage padding between your long bones. Low impact cardio workouts are the best way to get a good heart-pumping workout while going easy on your joints. First warm up your joints by performing some gentle range of motion exercises. You will find as your joints are warmed up, your range of motion improves and your pain decreases. You are now ready for your low impact cardio workout. Here are a few options:
Swimming: The buoyancy of water supports your joints. At the same time, water provides resistance in all directions. You don't just have to perform endless laps, virtually any type of movement under water can be used to give yourself a good cardiovascular workout.
Elliptical Trainer: You will be performing almost the same movement as running minus the impact and hence receiving the same cardiovascular benefits. This is a great way to protect your knees and hips from injury.
Cycling: You can either commune with nature while cycling outdoors, use a stationary bike while watching TV, or a recumbent bike which will minimize stress on your joints. All of these exercises are joint-friendly and improve your cardiovascular health.
Speed Walking: A classic workout that can be performed regularly with great results. It is important to wear supportive shoes. As a beginner, you can start on level surfaces. Increasing your speed and walking up an incline will give a further boost to your cardiovascular health.
Aside from the improved heart health and mobility by following any of these training routines, your joint pain will also show improvement and no longer be a limiting factor in your life.
Dr. Domb is a nationally recognized orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery of the hip, shoulder and knee. A noted pioneer in advanced new techniques in hip arthroscopy, he delivers innovative treatments for patients with hip injuries such as impingement and labral tears. Dr. Domb is also an expert in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee, adept in specialized techniques including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and all-inside ACL reconstruction.