Exercise  

4 Vital Exercises For Those 55+ With Sore Knees

Written by M. MacDonald

Updated March 1, 2023

Whilst most people think that joint pain is a symptom of wear and tear, it’s often the opposite. Knee and hip pain affect billions of people around the world – the majority of which are over 55. 

When knee or hip pain strikes – we typically reduce our activity. The reduction of movement can provide temporary relief but causes joints to seize up and become worse over time. 

This takes it’s toll on our family life, work and fitness levels.

No Grandparent wants to say “no” to playing with their grandchild. No ‘dog parent’ wants to struggle to walk their dog. And no one wants to give up work because their body forces them to.

Fortunately, there is good news… these simple exercises you can do at home to help improve your mobility and reduce discomfort.

You can even do them from a chair or in bed if things have got really tough.

Every step we take requires our knees and our hips.

Whether we’re getting out of bed, sliding into the car or lifting up our grandchild, we require our joints to get things done.

Without proper stretching, exercise and nutrition joints can deteriorate. This is often mislabelled as wear and tear since joint pain tends to get worse as we age.

Rather than wear and tear, joint pain is often a symptom of underlying issues caused by decreased movement, incorrect cellular signalling and/or malnourished joints.

Today we’re going to look at how we can increase our movement to support joint mobility, flexibility and comfort so you can get back to enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

These exercises can help you get back to playing with the grandkids, walking the dog with friends or simply bending over to pull out some weeds without feeling like you’re the tin man.

4 Crucial Types of Exercises

Vital exercises for people over 55.

Lubricating Exercises

Lubrication is important because the joint produces a liquid called synovial fluid. This fluid is produced when we move the joint or we put weight on it.

The synovial fluid provides nutrition to the cartilage. The cartilage is a thin layer that covers the bones to form a slippery surface, so the bones will absorb the shock and will move smoothly by reducing friction.

Lubrication is important, especially in the morning.

Many people with sore knees or hips have morning stiffness. This is because at night they don’t move the joints, and then there’s not a lot of production of synovial fluid, so the fluid tends to thicken.

This is what cause stiff and creaky joints.

Synovial fluid is similar to crystallized honey.

If we warm it a little bit and mix it with a spoon, the honey will become liquid and smooth again. Also, the more we move the joint and put weight on it’s like producing more honey.

Remember: “motion is lotion”.

It’s recommended to do the lubrication exercises first thing in the morning. You can even do them before you get out of bed.

This will help to warm up the joint, to improve the range of motion, to break down any thickness of the synovial fluid.

The other types of exercises (aerobics, weight-bearing and stretching) can be done at any point during the day.

 

Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercise is important to maintain a good cardiovascular system.

Aerobic exercise is any type of exercise that increases the heart rate and respiratory rate. This is the type that strengthens your heart and helps your lungs work better.

If you’re new to exercise, start with low-impact activities. They’re gentle on joints.

These may include walking briskly, dancing, biking, swimming.

To ease the pain and lower your chances of an injury, don’t try to do too much at once. Start with just 10 minutes every few days and then increase that time by 5 to 10 minutes.

The goal is to work up to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 5 days per week.

Make sure you talk to your doctor to ensure that you don’t have any restrictions for this activity like aerobic exercises.

 

Weight Bearing Exercises

Weight-bearing exercises are extremely important for those over 55.

Every step someone takes puts pressure on their knees and hips.

Walking requires the tendons, ligaments, and muscles to carry out specific movements.

Cartilage in the knee and hip helps to absorb the impact felt during each step, stumble, or shock.

The main advantages of weight-bearing exercises are that they stimulate cartilage, strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments. This reduces pain in the joint and helps maintain the calcium in the bones.

It is important to find just the right intensity when exercising for strength.

You must find a balance between increasing how much you are exercising and preventing injury

If you want to increase the resistance for increased strength, it is recommended you do this gradually.

 

Stretching Exercises

Stretching is important to maintain flexibility, to maintain a good range of motion in the joints.

When people have joint pain, they tend to protect the joints and use it less and less.

Then the muscles get shortened and stiff.

The tendons, the ligaments and the joint capsule will all get very tight.

It is important to do gentle stretching of the structures around the joints.

In our exercise guide, I will explain some movements that should not be done if you had a recent hip replacement or because some exercises will put the hip at risk of dislocation.

 

Conclusion

Joint pain affects over 2.4 billion people worldwide.

There’s 4 crucial types of exercises for knee and hip joints. These include lubrication, aerobic, weight-bearing and stretching.

The types of exercises can be remembered as the ‘LAWS’ of joint recovery.

Lubrication is important because the joint produces a liquid called synovial fluid. This fluid is produced when we move the joint or we put weight on it.

Aerobic exercise is important to maintain a good cardiovascular system.

The main advantages of weight-bearing exercises are that they stimulate cartilage, strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Stretching is important to maintain flexibility, to maintain a good range of motion in the joints.


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