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Are you one of millions of Americans who's turned off of exercise because of knee and joint pain? There is an alternative way that you can still workout, lose weight, and be healthy without enduring knee pain.
Experience knee pain during your workouts? This is a common occurrence which becomes exaggerated with age. If you find that with exertion you experience knee pain, the first step is to consult a physician to ensure you are not causing further damage, and that it is safe to continue exercising.injured_knee.jpg
In many cases a small knee injury will result in lifelong discomfort. Little can be done to completely eliminate knee pain which arises from damaged ligaments or meniscus', or from arthritis. Minimizing the pain by avoiding activities which aggravate the problem is usually the best solution.

Unfortunately, knee pain during cardio activities usually discourages participation, and many people engage in fewer and fewer cardio workouts as a result. This doesn't need to happen since there are key elements which must be avoided. Understanding which movements are actually causing the pain and avoiding them is the best first step to take.

Here are a few tips on what to avoid to reduce knee pain.

High impact movements

High impact movements are those which involve hoping and jumping around. A lot of boot camps and high intensity workouts include high impact cardio exercises. Anything which causes a sudden, and heavy impact on the knees should be avoided. These are things like jumping jacks, high knees, water sports, alpine skiing, kickboxing, and more.

Stair climbing

Stair climbing is another big one to cause knee pain. If you have a stair climber at your gym or at home, it will only aggravate the problem. Avoid stair climbing type movements and cardio classes which use steps. These are quite popular but are hard on the knees because of the weight-bearing aspect  which stresses each knee with the full weight of the body. After several minutes of the movement, most people with knee problems will really feel the strain.

Running or jogging

Another big one to avoid is running or jogging. While the impact on the knees is not very hard in each step, the accumulation over several minutes causes a fair amount of pounding on the knees. The continuous force exerted on the knee joint can cause some serious pain, so running outdoors or on  a treadmill is not recommended for any amount of time.

Maybe you should lose a little weight?

A simple and popular solution which you may have heard is to simply lose a little weight. Many people experience knee pain even though they've never injured their knees. In many cases, this is the result of carrying around excess weight. The human body isn't designed to carry around a whole lot of extra, unnecessary weight, and after several years of carrying a heavy load, the knees will naturally show signs of wear and tear. Reducing the weight which is bearing down on the knees can alleviate pain.

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