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Arthritis in Knees. What can I do to exercise & still have weight loss?

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HELP! Been battling with this weight issue for so long. Lost 20 lbs. in 4 months, & need to lose 34 more lbs. Just found out I supposedly have arthritis in my knees. THis has totally changed my ability to exercise.

What can I do to exercise now, that doesn't affect my knees?

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Ask your doctor to refer you to a physical therapist, they will design a program for you and really only a professional should advise you if you have a medical condition like arthritis that is degenerative. From my own experience swimming, walking, limited biking and elliptical, and weights are all possible with arthritis and joint pain, but start with your doctor, because you don't want to aggrivate an already painful condition.

Although exercise will be a must for you in dealing with arthritis, it technically isn't necessary in weight loss, you can do that with diet alone if need be.

Congratulations on the 20 lb loss!  Good for you!

Swimming or water aerobics would be perfect, but sometimes pools are hard to find cheaply.  Gentle exercise like walking or bike riding would be good, as well.  Your doctor may have other suggestions - don't be afraid to pump him/her for information!

Studies have shown that gentle exercise actually helps arthritis, so don't feel like you can't do anything any more.  If what you were doing didn't hurt, I would say that it would be ok to continue.

I have arthritis in my knees as well.  In the other thread I mentioned a program that I had been doing for my knees.  It was helping while I was doing it. 

I have been doing weight lifting and playing on my Wii and while I do have some discomfort in my knees it has not been bad since the original flare up that sent me to the doctor. 

Obviously you should listen to your doctor as mwheeler suggested.  But don't think that having arthritis is the end of all physical activity. 

In fact physical activity has been shown to reduce a lot of the symptoms of arthritis and losing weight can certainly help. 

Try swimming if available? My mom has knee issues and has no issues when swimming, which is great exercise. I believe the pressure from the water keeps knees happy and is less harsh than any sort of running walking type dealy.

I was diagnosed with arthritis at age 14, and when I was 20, the Dr told me I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 30. I gave up a lot of activities out of fear that he was right, and became a 284 pound 42 year old, who can still walk, just with a bit of pain sometimes. I'm pretty sure the Dr's were not 100% accurate.

Three weeks ago, I started using a Nordic Track cross country ski machine, because they are supposed to be pretty much free of "impact" problems that running can cause.

After 3 weeks, I have no increased knee pain, can use the machine for 30 minutes at a time, and have even come to do a bit of "jogging" on it during my workouts, and still without pain.

If you are already in pain, this may not be a good route for you, but I thought I would mention it for your request

By the way - my first week on the machine was spent walking. First day was 15 minutes of trying to figure out the balance thing.




Every YMCA that I've even been to offers some sort of aquacise class, maybe start there.

All these suggestion are good.  I might add trying Tai Chi.  It is low impact and not too hard on the knees.  I have knee and back pain from arthritis and took my first Tai Chi class a few weeks ago. I was pleasantly suprised when I did not feel pain in these areas after an hour workout.  Worth a try. 

Hi there

I can really sympathize with you. I too have degenarative arthritis in my knees and back. Swimming helps alot. I can still feel the pain but it is much less noticeable in the water. You don't have to do big laps, just gentle swimming and sometimes I stand by the side inside and gently lift the legs up from the sides. This seems to strengthen my muscles in my legs. I don't get to swim often because of the crazy weather up here in Canada, but I do get to my brothers pool as often as I can in the summer.

Tai Chai? There is a DVD on Ebay called Dr. Chen's Exercises in just came in a couple of days ago and many of the exercises I can do. I do what I can and lift my legs as much as I can, which isn't very much at this point, but every little bit helps.

Arthritis can flare up from time to time making it almost unbearable. Some days I have absolutely no range of motion and other days I can do a bit more. The days I can work it I do, otherwise try just rotating your ankles and doing arm movements.

I'm not much of a great help, but I know I am going through the same thing myself. People on here have been great.

All the best of luck to you and remember to take things one day at a time.


I have had arthritis since I was in my teens.  Exercise (with your docs ok) is really the very best thing.  Also you might inquire about seeing a physical therapist.  They can give you exercises to strengthen your muscles around your joints.  With better muscular support you will have less pain in your joints.

Personally I have learned to accept some level as pain as "usual and expected".  I think if I expected my joints to be pain free I would just lie down and never get up at all. 

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