UCLA Orthopaedic Surgery
1250 16th Street, Suite 2100, Santa Monica, CA 90404
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Appointments: (310) 319-1234
Additional offices in Encino and Thousand Oaks

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Cardio Exercises That Are Good For Your Joints

Almost everyone is aware of the health benefits of regular cardio exercises.  They make your heart and lungs more efficient giving you increased stamina and energy levels throughout the day. However, if you happen to have problems with the weight-bearing joints of your body, particularly the hips and knees, cardio exercises of the high-impact variety may not be an option for you. Here are a few excellent alternatives to get your heart pumping and boost your metabolism without damaging your joints:

Water Aerobics:  The buoyancy of water reduces joint stress. Water also provides resistance to movement in all directions, helping build strong muscles to support your joints. Not having to worry about your joints will allow you to go for an intense cardiovascular workout.

Elliptical Workout: The elliptical machine is designed to cause zero impact while exercising. Most elliptical machines are equipped with handles so that the upper body and lower body can be exercised simultaneously giving you a total body workout with obvious benefits to your heart as well.

Cycling Cardio Workout: If outdoor activity is what you enjoy, then hopping on your bike and riding out into the fresh air is a great way to boost your spirits and your cardiovascular health. You will also have the benefit of well-toned legs without the added stress to the knees and ankles that jogging will produce. On days when you prefer to workout indoors, using a stationary bike will provide almost identical benefits.

Walking Cardio Workout: A brisk walk is a great way to maintain long term weight loss and to keep your heart healthy. While walking burns fewer calories per minute when compared to jogging, almost everybody can walk much further than they can run, thus easily making up for the caloric deficit while preserving joint health.

Give all these exercises a go before you settle on a routine that is to your liking.  You can even make things challenging by going to the pool for water aerobics one day and going cycling the next time. The different workouts will allow some of your muscles and joints to rest while working out the others. Within a short time, you will be able to notice significant cardiovascular gain without joint pain.

Erik N. Zeegen, M.D., a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, is one of Southern California’s leading joint replacement surgeons. His practice is focused on hip and knee replacement surgery, including revising hip and knee replacements that have failed. http://www.socaljointreplacement.com/