If an individual has a knee injury, the main concern is how to stay in shape without aggravating the knee pain. Always bear in mind that cardiovascular exercise is vital for overall general health and also helps with the healing process of injuries by delivering freshly oxygenated blood cells to the damaged area.
There are various exercises that can pump up the heart such as jogging, cycling and using an elliptical trainer but they require both legs that make it impossible with a knee injury. Activities that mainly involve the arms will allow an individual to keep up with his/her cardiovascular workout routine.
Upper body workouts
In case the leg is restrained or incapable of bearing weight, an arm ergometer is an ideal alternative for bicycling. An arm ergometer is a device that allows the individual to use his/her arms in place of the legs to drive the pedals of a bike.
Another suitable option is an upper body circuit training program that includes high repetitions and low loads as well as short break periods in between the exercises. In addition, using upper body machines or the free weight exercises that focuses on the latissimus dorsi, pectorals, deltoids, rhomboids and triceps can get the heart pumping.
In some cases of knee injuries as well as osteoarthritis, they can improve with the help of bicycling. Aside from the cardiovascular and healing benefits, cycling also improves the strength and flexibility of the knee joint.
Cycling is a suitable exercise for those who have osteoarthritis but just remember to avoid hills to avoid abrupt breaks that increase the pressure on the knee. If an individual has a knee injury, it is recommended to opt for flat terrain or a low resistance level at the gym. Increasing the level of the seat slightly can also reduce the pressure placed on the kneecap.
Other possible options
For those who do not want to go to the gym, there are other activities that do not vigorously entail both legs. A good option is rock climbing in which the individual can utilize their arms and the unharmed leg to climbs the walls. This activity can build up muscle as well as providing an intense cardiovascular workout.
Rowing and kayaking are also ideal cardiovascular workouts if the knee can tolerate being in a bent position for a certain period of time.
Swimming is also another option but if it bothers the knee joint, the individual can opt for walking briskly while in the water to get the heart pumping.
Considerations to bear in mind
Before the individual starts any exercise routine, a doctor should be consulted first to ensure that he/she will not damage the knee further. In addition, if the individual has any current cardiovascular conditions, a doctor should be consulted before making any changes to his/her exercise routine.