When you have been away from the gym and training for a while, you may be anxious and excited to get back out there and get to work. However, if you do not take proper precautions and care, you may end up doing your body more harm than good. Orthopedic sports medicine doctors see many cases of patients who do not take those precautions when they get back in the gym and end up with serious knee problems and injuries. Get to know some of the steps that you can take to protect your knees when you start working out again so that you are not one of those people.

Focus On Your Core

If you have not worked out for a while, your muscles will not be as strong as they should be to protect your joints while you perform exercises. You may be surprised to know that the muscles in your core (i.e. your abdominal and back muscles) are actually extremely important in protecting your knees during physical activity.

Your core muscles include the area around your hips and the leg muscles that directly support your knees are also impacted by your hips. All of these muscles work together to support the knee joint. As such, an easy way to get back into exercising is to do a core-focused workout including leg raises, crunches and sit-ups. These are low impact exercises that will not do damage to your knee joints as you build muscle strength.

Do Low Impact Cardio

You may have been a runner back in the day, but if you have not been on a track or a treadmill training in a long time, running, jogging, or even walking on the treadmill can wreak havoc on your knee joints. The force of impact can be jarring on your knees and cause pain and discomfort or even serious injuries.

Instead of trying to push yourself too hard, too fast, consider trying cardio exercises that are considered low impact. You will still work your muscles and get your heart rate up, but will not be putting as much pressure on your joints.

One of the lowest impact cardio options is, of course, swimming. Swimming laps in a pool will get your heart rate soaring but will have virtually no impact on your joints at all. If you are looking to get back in shape and want to ease your joints into it, swimming is the best way to get your cardio. Other lower impact cardio options include the elliptical machine or the recumbent bikes at the gym. However, you will want to keep inclines and resistance settings low to start on those machines.

Now that you know a few of the ways that you can protect your knees when you start working out again, you can get started as soon as possible. And keep in mind that if your knees do start to give your trouble, you should contact an orthopedic sports medicine physician as soon as possible for assistance and treatment.

For more information, contact Associates In Orthopedics & Sports Medicine PC or a similar organization.