Dealing with painful and arthritic knees certainly affects your weekly exercise and fitness regimen. It can be difficult to rise up from a sitting position, let alone move your knees enough to burn calories.
Doctors and fitness experts recommend low-impact forms of exercising, which include walking and swimming. But what about using a stationary bike? Is this a good way to both get in a good workout to get your heart rate up – and prevent you from suffering even more painful knees?
In this article, we’ll go in depth into exploring this topic, so that you can make an amazing decision that will give you better health in the long run.
Taking Care of Arthritic Knees
You know you have arthritic knees when the temperature changes outside, and you can feel the aching in your knees. That fluctuating ache makes it hard to sit for long periods of time, climb stairs, kneel down or bend over, walk up inclines, and make your pace any faster than a power walk. Many sufferers of arthritic knees have had to change their daily habits to accommodate the constant aching pain.
Types of Arthritis That Specifically Affect Your Knees
This is the type where the joint cartilage in your knee underneath your knee cap slowly wears away, exposing more bone.
This type is a long-term autoimmune disease that affects the joints. As with osteoarthritis, pain is more evident in the morning and after periods of inactivity.
This type of knee pain is the result of a bad injury, usually from a torn meniscus, ligament problems, or bone fractures.
Unfortunately, you can have more than one of these types of knee pain. The pain gradually increases over time. Your body weight provides a lot of pressure on your knees, which increases with every step. The more weight you put on your knees, the more arthritic they become. The joints become a lot noisier, too; you may hear cracking or popping as you try to stand up. Knee muscles weaken, and the entire area around the middle of your legs gradually becomes more unstable.
The Benefits of a Stationary Bike
Having arthritic knees requires any fitness program to be extra gentle on your legs, helps alleviate problems associated with putting pressure on the knees, and assists your knees in moving in a much smoother way to prevent buckling or locking up.
This is where the benefits of a stationary bike comes in. Its inherent design encourages your body to shift a certain way. The natural sitting position on a bike is very comfortable, plus it takes the vast majority of your body weight off your legs and knees. With that weight reduced, you will notice your pain is reduced, too. It’s much easier to pedal than it is to walk, and it’s very low impact.
You will be building up muscles in your upper legs that will also help strengthen the area around your knees. Cycling also actually encourages your body to produce more fluids and flush those fluids around your joints. That helps to lubricate your knees and remove waste and built-up toxins. A stationary bike is very good for arthritic knees.
Choosing a Stationary Bike
How do you choose the best stationary bike for you? There are four main kinds that would be great for you.
You sit up straight on this type.
The handlebars move back and forth at the same time you pedal.
This is low to the ground, with the pedals pushed forward and the seat angled back. Your hands aren’t used.
Common for spin classes, these are designed to hunch your upper body forward and put a lot of pressure on your hands and wrists.
Which one is the best for someone with arthritic knees? Your bike fit is very important since you have knee health issues. A recumbent is going to be much better than an upright, an indoor cycle, or a dual-action bike. You get more room to stretch out; it removes a huge amount of the stress on your poor joints; and it’s also easier to get in and out of. Recumbent bikes also have more features, too, like being quiet, some are foldable, and they’re not that expensive.
You simply sit on the stationary bike, leaning back comfortably in the seat, and placing your hands on the fixed handlebars. Then put your feet in the straps and begin the slowly, but steadily pedaling.
Biking for Building Strength
Your arthritic knees will feel a lot better, you’ll build up strength in your legs, and you’ll also enjoy your daily workout when you’re not in as much pain any longer. A stationary bike improves your health in the long run, and that is good for your knees, too.