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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Knee friendly exercises please?

Hi, I had 75% of the cartilage on one side of my left knee removed a year ago. I'm now looking to lose around 4 stone but it seems that with the extra weight on my knee, a lot of the types of exercise I would have previously done with no problems are now taking my knee days to recover. It's turned into a bit of a catch 22 as the weight means certain exercises are a no-no but without the exercise the weight gets worse! I've recently learned to swim but am still doing doggy paddle with a half size noodle float, although I usually manage 30 lengths of my local pool (750m) in an hour which I don't think is too bad. Are there any other exercises, other than swimming and walking, which would be good for losing the pounds? Thanks

A.

Our expert says...

Hi,

Well done for already finding an effective and safe exercise option for your knees with your regular swimming. There are many options available for you in terms of land-based exercise; it will simply be a matter of trial and error while listening to your body (or more specifically your knees!). Obviously non-weight bearing will be totally safe (so for example using resistance machines or dumbbells or bean cans for the upper body where you are in a seated position) and options need to be non-impact to reduce compressive force stressing the knee joints (for example trying a stationary bike).

If you were to do exercises that isolate small muscles, i.e. standing bicep curls, seated overhead shoulder press obviously on their own, they don’t use multiple muscle groups so this does reduce calorie demands compared to running, walking, lunges and so on. However, the combination of several of these in a little circuit with minimal rest will provide excellent calorie burning contributions as well as promote the development of lean muscle tissue which is metabolically active and makes us more of a fat-burning machine 24/7.

As an alternative suggestion, it is worth being aware that exercise DVD’s on the market also include a range of chair-based workouts (in the comfort of your own home) which would enable you to really protect your knees or allow you to keep working out even during a flare up.

Hope this helps,

Kelly

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