I had a great question on a previous post and felt it was worth addressing in a post all it’s own.
Exercise is good for EVERYONE – yes, everyone. Even the elderly and injured. The question is – what kind? Some moves are dangerous and should be avoided while others are beneficial and can actually increase the strength, range of motion and flexibility of your trouble area.
Many people have trouble with their knees & back and it is important to choose a workout program that you can modify to prevent injury. High-impact exercises are not ideal. Running can be hard on even the most athletic folks.
Here’s a site that has some good examples: Exercise for Knee/Back Problems
Especially if you are new to exercise, slower movements tend to allow you more control over your body so that you don’t wrench a weak area too quickly. Both cardiovascular and strength/resistance training are important when trying to lose weight or improve fitness. Often overlooked, resistance exercise is especially important as we get older since we start losing muscle in our 30′s! Muscle requires more energy (calories) than fat and so building it will not only helps you lose more weight but also allow you a higher calorie budget. (Yes, I would like to be able to eat more food, please!)
The right kind of resistance training will not only help build muscle but can also raise your heart rate and give you a “cardio effect” similar to jogging or other aerobic exercise that would otherwise be dangerous to weak joints or an injured back.
Pilates, Yoga and Weight lifting are great ways to build muscle, improve flexibility and the right programs will have slower movements and examples of modifications for those who need to avoid high-impact activities. Also, these don’t require too much space since you won’t be doing burpees, running, kicking etc. A set of resistance bands are effective, inexpensive, small, light and can be stored pretty much anywhere- a great option to save space & money! I do like my weights but they require a little more room… For some injuries, light weights with lots of repetitions are best while for other kinds of trouble heavier, slower movements may be more appropriate.
Note: Many good “cardio” DVD’s will have someone modifying the exercise to make it lower-impact but I would use these cautiously since they are generally fast-paced.
A couple DVD’s I would recommend looking into:
Total Body Solutions by Debbie Siebers (specifically designed for folks with painful areas.)
Les Mills Pump (weight training with a “cardio” effect. I’m not sure of the pace but you can go slowly to prevent injury.)
Chalean Extreme by Chalene Johnson (I have used this one (I told you I’m a Chalene fan!) She shows modifications and how to use the bands instead of weights. It has a slow tempo and recommends heavier weights. This does have some “cardio” effect as well.)
Yoga Booty Ballet (There are several different YBB programs- some have more “dance” workouts that may not be ideal if you have an injury.)
Always remember: don’t bend your knees past what is comfortable and stop if it becomes painful, avoid “twisting” and keep your back straight (never “Round”) – especially if you have a back injury, osteoporosis or other degenerative bone disease. Of course, if you have had an injury or other chronic problem it is always best to consult a physical therapist and your physician before doing any exercise.
Have questions? Interested in learning more about the programs? Email me 🙂 FitnessPhoenixX@gmail.com