How To Keep Exercising with Arthritic Hips & Knees

Bike Ride

Bike Ride

One of the biggest health mistakes that people make during this time (while the gyms and fitness centers are closed) is to think that walking or jogging is the only way to exercise while enjoying the fresh air.

Yet, the health benefits of doing something like cycling are endless.

Cycling regularly can help improve physical fitness, ease stress (due to the rush of endorphins that will be released) and it’s also a great way to reduce your weight. Not to mention you’ll get to see some nice sights if you pick a scenic route.

If you’re having regular problems with arthritic knees or hips, a really stiff lower back or even tightness in muscles such as the Achilles or calves, then cycling is a great option. Even if you only do it for 30 minutes or so at a time.

Why? Because you’ll be reducing the impact of the hard surface that can easily damage vital joints. You’ll also be helping essential processes like the heart and the lungs to stay healthy.

This is so important that I want to say it again-You’ll feel so much healthier if you vary your exercise habits and fitness plans. It’s also essential to remain alert of the impact that doing the same thing night after night can have upon your joints and muscles.

Bike riding is something that anyone in their 40’s, 50’s or above should seriously consider. It’s even better than walking if your objective is to stay active and healthy.

Now, let’s bust a myth about bike riding. Many people think that to have the same positive impact on your health, as say going for a run, you have to do much more when riding a bike.

I’ve found this confusion to be one of the most common objections when I suggest people consider taking bike rides. It’s true that to get the endorphins, you’ll have to sit on your bike a bit longer than if you were just heading out for a run.

Keeping this in mind, here’s a fact when it comes to bike riding vs. running. Someone who weighs approximately 160 pounds will burn roughly 650 calories from riding a bike for an hour. With a typical 20 minute run, you’ll be lucky to burn 200. So although it might not feel that way, you’re working just as hard. Only, it’s much safer in terms of the reduced impact on your knees and hips. Just something to think about.

When the numbers stack up, you can see why more and more people aged 50+ are getting back on their bikes to keep healthy and feel and look great.

Are your arthritic hips giving you trouble? Check out this technique video where Jessica (one of our favorite PTAs) will demonstrate how to modify a traditional squat to help you strengthen your muscles and hopefully alleviate some of that pain for you. Take a look below.

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

You Might Also Like...