It is far and away one of the most unpleasant parts of aging; that unmistakable feeling that your knees are beginning to go. It is especially challenging if you pride yourself on an active lifestyle of running or other high-impact activities.

The good news is that there are many lower-impact cardio exercises you can consider to maintain an active lifestyle with minimal pain and discomfort on your knees without overdoing the strain on your body.

Before considering any new recreational hobby, make sure that you seek informed medical advice, even for activities that you think are likely safe – especially if you have experienced an injury or discomfort.

Some exercises and new routines to consider:

  • Swimming – this ranks as one of the best cardio workouts you can consider if you have bad knees, not to mention its benefits of helping to burn calories and work a wide variety of muscle groups in your body.
  • Rowing – you can stay off your knees altogether while you get a workout in with a rowing routine, which is a great way to build core strength and work out your arms, legs, and, indeed, your entire body.
  • Elliptical – one of the most popular options at your local gym will likely be the elliptical machine, providing a rigorous workout without the stresses on your body you will encounter with a “dread-mill.”
  • Cycling – if you prefer to get outside, cycling is a great option for improving overall strength and flexibility while giving you a great way to travel and take insights; or you may prefer an indoor option like a Peloton during the winter months.
  • Pilates – a great class to consider for exercises that engage your lower body while improving mobility, posture, and balance. It can be intimidating to try a new class for the first time if Pilates is a foreign concept to you, but you will quickly find a welcoming crowd of fellow practitioners if you give it a chance.

Need further advice on maintaining your active lifestyle while dealing with bad knees? Consult Dr. John Andrachuk, a leading Orthopedic Sports Medicine surgeon serving the greater Atlanta region.