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Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:23 am
by Sara
Does anyone have any ideas for a minimal impact exercise that would be good for someone with knee pain and pending knee surgery - a form of exercise that would elevate their heart rate? We have ruled out swimming, elliptical, and extended walking for now. Thank you.

Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:44 am
by Jan
Sara, there’s a great series called Sit and Be Fit, it’s svailable in my area on cable. They’re all exercises done while sitting, and there are tons of episodes.

Bastyr University used to have a course you could purchase (not expensive, dvd through the mail I think) on Arthritis, that had a section on exercises for minimal impact.

I’ve seen Tai Chi for Arthritis classes before, floramaria might have information on that, as she teaches Tai Chi.

Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:18 am
by Magda
Does your friend go to the gym?
I think you can get a great cardio workout on the seated upper body bike (hand bike) or on a rowing machine.
I used both when my knees were not cooperating, and I was always able to elevate my heart rate.

The other thing you can do, is to use light weights, and resistance bands, and create an upper body / core cardio workout.
If you need tips how to in a fun way incorporate hand bike, rowing machine, and light weights in to the workout please let me know:)
I worked in a past as a Personal Trainer, and group fitness instructor:)

Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:47 am
by Sara
Wow, great ideas! Thank you both!

Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:29 am
by TheresaB

I feel your friend’s pain, truly. I’ve been working issues with my right foot for the past 5 years including 3 surgeries, ugh.

Does your friend happen to have a community rec center nearby? Unlike private gyms, rec centers don’t try to get you to sign up with contracts and are typically reasonably priced. Mine offers a daily pass, monthly pass, annual membership, household memberships, and “punch” cards. If you’re not a resident, they charge a little more because your taxes don’t contribute to the center, but it’s all still reasonable.

Go there and ask to just walk around and look at what the facility has to offer, they’ll let you do that for no cost. If they’re not busy, explain the situation and they’ll probably offer lots of ideas. The other thing I like about a rec center vs a local gym is I see all kinds at our rec center: young, old, folks obviously rehabbing from surgery, with walkers, with oxygen, etc.
Our rec center has a hand cycle, rowing machines, recumbent bikes, free weights, weight equipment (so no need for spotter), yoga classes including for those with physical limitations, all sorts of things. Our rec center also has pools. I know you said no swimming, but there are classes in water aerobics, which is great to provide resistance for muscles without the force of gravity. There are also a bunch of floatation belts, “barbells”, noodles, etc. to help with doing exercises if joining a class isn’t desirable. Our rec center also has a “lazy river” where I was able to walk against the current of the “river” but not pound my poor foot.

There’s also things you can do to “trick” your body into thinking it’s exercising, a sauna for instance, which the rec center may also have. A sauna gets a person sweating and raises the heart beat. Good as running a 5k? Probably not, but there IS benefit to this.

Here’s a crazy thought, near any lakes? How about kayaking? Okay you need a kayak to do this, but I remember one of the places I lived had a gym next to a lake and kayaking was one of the exercises they offered, I thought how fun!

Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:25 pm
by drae
TheresaB wrote:rowing machines...

Arggh, TheresaB. I just combed our small city. Our senior center and four other silver sneaker sites (where I don't pay) do NOT have rowing machines. Only my (former) crossfit gym, the YMCA and, an elementary school. Go figure. I keep thinking of buying one.

Rowers = the best all body workout machine. Don't see it working for a knee but I learned to love it when I had my foot in a boot. =)


Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:33 pm
by ccfield
I am a big fan of the Ski Erg machine. Not all gyms have it but it certainly rivals the rower and is really mostly upper body. You can even do it sitting on the ground. My trainer uses it on his clients with knee issues. But's one heck of a workout! Tell them to take it slow.

Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:01 am
by PBW
Just a thought....My daughter gave me a gift certificate to Orange Theory. I am a retired fitness Therapist(glorified trainer) so get a little excited about anything to do with keeping us moving in a safe and healthy manner. Orange theory has water rowers that were amazingly smooth and quiet. I do not know if you have an Orange Theory in your area but you might, if you have crossfit. This company sells rowers but you could try them out maybe at Orange Theory.: ... ter+rowers New the lowest is $795. Good luck

Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:26 am
by Brain4ever
Aquatic fitness is painfree and terrific

Re: Exercise with Minimal Impact

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:44 am
by Sara
Hi Brain4ever and welcome to the site. I agree with you that swimming is a terrific workout. If you would like to learn more about this site please visit our Primer. Again, welcome and thank you for your contribution.