Dealing with knee pain can be a struggle, especially when it keeps you from everyday activities. While it can be easy to stay relatively sedentary, exercise is great for your physical and mental health, and even adding a little movement to your day can be beneficial. Fortunately, there are simple changes you can make to your daily routine to increase your physical activity. Here are our top five ways to add movement to your day when you struggle with knee pain.
- Find an activity you enjoy
How likely are you to regularly exercise or do physical activity if you don’t enjoy it? Probably not very likely. Finding a physical activity that you actually like doing can be a great way to add movement to your day. For example, if you like spending time in the water, you may find that swimming or water aerobics are enjoyable activities. If you like spending time outside, try going for a bike ride or taking a walk. These activities are also low-impact, so they’re gentle on knees.
- Add movement to sedentary activities
It can be easy to spend your free time lounging around, but this is a great time to incorporate movement into your day. If TV is part of your routine, try doing some stretches while you’re watching your favorite show or during commercial breaks. If you have access to an elliptical or stationary bike, spend some time on it while watching a show or reading a book. Instead of scrolling through your phone during work breaks, try going for a short walk. These may not sound like much, but they can help you form the habit of getting a little extra physical activity in your day.
- Make exercise a part of your schedule
A great way to hold yourself accountable for getting more exercise is to make it a commitment rather than something you’ll get to later if you have time. When you’re planning your schedule for the day or week, find some time for exercise and make it part of your plan. This shouldn’t be vague – know the day and time of your activity. It can be as simple as taking the dog for a walk, or something more intense like (knee-friendly!) exercises.
- Sneak movement into your day
If the thought of exercising is not the least bit appealing, find ways to “sneak” extra movement into your day. For example, when you’re running errands, try parking a little farther away than usual so you get more steps in. Can you walk or ride a bike to a destination rather than driving? Give that a try. Sneak in some stretches while you’re waiting for food to cook. Making small changes can help you increase your movement without it feeling like a chore or putting too much pressure on your joints.
- Start slow
Adding more movement to your day doesn’t mean you suddenly have to run a marathon. It’s all about making small changes to improve your health. If walking is what you’re comfortable with, try to walk a little more each day to slowly build your endurance. If you feel up to the challenge of trying something new, great! Find what works best for you.
Contact Arthritis Knee Pain Centers
If you’re tired of knee pain caused by osteoarthritis interrupting your daily life, click here to learn about our non-surgical therapy for pain relief.