How to exercise when you have hip or knee pain

When your hips and knees hurt, the last thing you want to do is exercise. It may not even be a question of need; you might feel like you can’t physically.

But it’s possible to reduce the weight on your joints and get a good workout if you’re experiencing hip or knee pain. Weight-bearing exercises help you move freely with little to no pain and may even help you feel better.

Several machines can help limit the stress on your joints. These machines can help build cardio, build muscle, improve endurance, and improve range of motion.

Elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, rowing machines and bicycles are great options for training well and limiting the strain on the joints.

Whichever you use, warm up for a few minutes with little resistance.

You can also try “low impact” exercises. They are essentially forms of exercise with minimal impact on your joints, allowing you to maintain comfort and get stronger without making the pain worse.

Pool exercises are great examples of low impact exercises. Swimming laps, water aerobics, or waist-deep water walking are all forms of exercise that can be done in a pool. The water allows you to float, which reduces the pressure on your joints. But it also adds resistance to help you get stronger.

A short brisk walk can also help, but only if your joints aren’t hurting. Getting outside for five to 15 minutes a few times a day can help keep you active and relieve your joints than a 30-minute walk. Be sure to wear good supportive walking shoes.

Tai chi is another form of low impact exercise you can try if you have joint pain. It is a form of martial arts where the body moves slowly through a series of choreographed movements. Evidence suggests it can help with mobility, balance and range of motion.

Don’t let sore knees and hips keep you from being more active. Try these moves to help you get the most out of life.

Kristen T. Prall