How to Start Running When You Have Bad Knees
If you have bad knees, you know how difficult it can be to get around. Just thinking of an intense activity like running might cause you to wince in pain. However, running can actually be an incredibly efficient way help improve your mobility and strength. In one study completed by Swedish researchers, participants who were at risk for osteoarthritis went jogging and saw an improvement in the biochemistry of their cartilage. If you'd like to experience the benefits of jogging but don't know where to start, the following tips can help you ease into it.
While you might be tempted to jump right into an intense running routine, it's important to take it slow. Running too fast at first can put you at greater risk for injury. If you've never run before, you might even want to try walking first. Then build up to interval training, maybe jogging for four minutes at a time and walking for one. Once you have built up some endurance, aim for eight to ten minutes per mile for up to 40 minutes per day.
Take the Rest You Need
Running can be stressful for your body, especially if you've never done it before. Your muscles will be sore, and your body will need time to repair these areas. If you force yourself to run every day, your body may not have the time it needs to heal. So take advantage of rest days every so often, especially if you're feeling sore. Also, don't be afraid to use ice therapy, compression, and elevation to relieve any discomfort after a run.
If you have weak muscles, running will place more strain on your joints. However, if you work to strengthen the supportive structures of the knee, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, your knee will bear less of the impact. For the greatest results, add strength training two to three times a week.
Wear Supportive Equipment
While you don't need to go out and invest in a fancy pair of athletic shoes, you should make sure that your current shoes offer enough support. This will make your jogging sessions more comfortable and reduce the impact on your knees. Additionally, consider wearing a knee brace to compress the knee and hold it in place during your workouts.
Take Joint Supplements
One of the biggest knee problems people face is deteriorating cartilage. This causes the joints of the knee to rub directly on one another, leading to pain and inflammation. Fortunately, certain joint supplements can help to replenish your natural supply of cartilage. In particular, try our Sustained Release Glucosamine Tablets or Glucosamine Massage Cream. The power of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM work together to promote joint health.
Stretch Before and After
Stretching before a run helps to loosen you up and decreases the risk of pulling a muscle. Doing a post-run stretch is just as important, as it can help cool down your body and prevent you from feeling sore the next day. The best areas to stretch are the calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Generally, spend 10 to 15 minutes before and after each workout to help prevent injury.
Run on Soft Surfaces
Running on your neighbourhood footpath might be convenient, but it's not the best for your knees. Instead, softer surfaces, such as synthetic running tracks or grass, can greatly decrease the impact running has on your body. You'll notice the difference both during and after running.
As one of the best ways to lose weight and increase endurance, running is a fantastic exercise for both the young and old. Running with knee problems is not only possible, but it can be quite enjoyable if you do it the right way.
Neighmond, Patti. "Put Those Shoes On: Running Won't Kill Your Knees." NPR. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
Strong, Debbie. "What 6 Joint Docs Say About Running." EverydayHealth.com. 28 May 2015. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
Burfoot, Amby. "Start Running Now: Our Get-Going Guide." Runner's World. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
Rutherford, Dr Dan. "Life Coach: Can I Run with Arthritic Knees?" The Telegraph. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
- Kristy Snyder