National Bone And Joint Day 2023: Are cardio exercises bad for your knees?

There are times when joints might hurt after doing cardio exercises. On National Bone And Joint Day, find out if cardio exercise can affect joints.
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Knee joints can be affected by certain cardio exercises. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 4 Aug 2023, 08:59 am IST
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Cardio exercises are known for improving cardiovascular health and weight management, making them popular among fitness enthusiasts. Also known as cardiovascular exercises or aerobic exercises, cardio workouts are beneficial to most people. But have you ever wondered why your joints hurt after doing a cardio exercise? On the occasion of National Bone And Joint Day, which is observed on August 4 every year, let’s figure out the link between cardio exercises and joints.

To know if cardio exercises are bad for joints, Health Shots connected with Delhi-based fitness expert Sameeran Chetia.

Walking is great for your cardiovascular health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What is cardio exercise?

Cardio exercise is imperative for long-term good health. Cardiovascular training is a must for any person who wants to achieve their fitness goals. Chetia says a good cardio session can vary between 30 to 45 minutes and should be done for a minimum of 3 days per week with alternate sessions of strength training.

Does cardio exercise affect joints?

Cardio exercises help in keeping your heart rate up, which aids in delivering oxygen throughout your body. Doing cardio exercises regularly also helps in losing weight and keeping your heart healthy. But can cardio exercises hurt joints? The expert saysnot all the cardio exercises can be bad for joints unless you suffer from serious joint issues such as arthritis. In such cases, it is best to consult a doctor before taking up any fitness program.

Cardio exercises that may be bad for joints

People with joint issues, especially knee joints, should skip some of the cardio exercises. Here are some examples:

1. Jump rope

Although jump rope is a great cardio exercise to lose body fat and increase your heart rate, constant jumping and hitting the floor will put pressure on the joints of people with joint problems.

2. Jumping jacks

Jumping jacks are full-body exercise that involve a lot of jumping. The jumping puts pressure on the lower body joints which might lead to injury and pain, says Chetia.

3. Burpees

Burpees are great full-body exercise that help to burn fat and are good for a healthy heart. This exercise comes under High Intensity Interval Training and involves movements like jumping, planks, push-ups, and squats. So, you should be a little experienced to master this movement.

Best cardio exercises for people with joint pain

If you have joint pain, you can do low-impact cardio exercises. Such exercises are gentler on the joints. Try these!

Choose right cardio exercises to avoid joint pain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

1. Walking

It might not look much beneficial, but regular walking can have numerous health benefits. By covering your daily steps, you can maintain a healthy weight. It comes under low-intensity cardio exercise and walking for 30 to 40 minutes a day can do wonders for your overall health, says Chetia. By walking 10,000 steps, you can burn around 300 calories. Do slip into a good pair of walking shoes for better stability and overall experience.


Keep an idea of your risk of weight-related issues.

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2. Cycling

Cycling is a great way to combine fitness and leisure activity. You can always take your cycle and head out to explore while burning calories at the same time. Even cycling on a stationary cycle in the gym can help in strengthening the leg muscles while boosting cardiovascular health.

3. Use the rowing machine

It is one of the best low-impact cardio exercises. It is a combination of strength and cardio training. Rowing is simple once you start doing it, the movement is the same as the rowing sport.

So, joint pain or not, there is a cardio exercise for everyone!

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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