Walking is an all-around great exercise that can be used in a variety of ways to help during a total knee replacement recuperation. Here are some reasons:
Cost. It’s cheap and economical. There are no added costs to enjoy walking. All you need are good walking shoes.
Pace. Walking can be done at your own pace. You can walk as slow or fast as you want. I was walking so slow after my tkr, a turtle could have beat me in a race. No complaints, just facts. I didn’t care, though. I was glad to be able to walk without the excruciating pain like I had before my tkr.
Leg straightening. Walking correctly helps straighten your leg. By walking heel to toe, your gait will start to swing. This helps loosen up the hamstring, which in turn will assist in straightening your leg. Walking was a miracle for me during my tkr reecuperation. I loved feeling my leg swing and my hamstring “open up”. Sometimes, though, there was pain prior to this happy feeling. 😦 All part of recuperation, in my opinion.
Cardio. Walking can provide you with a good aerobic workout. It’s amazing how little needs to be done after a tkr that will produce a sweat. In my case, anyways.
Socializing. If you walk on community trails where dogs are allowed, you can meet a variety of dogs and talk with their owners. Or, you can walk with a companion and enjoy a nice conversation. Either way, it’s fun.
Weight loss. Regular walking can be a benefit to either weight loss or maintaining your weight level. That applies unless you choose to finish off that cheesecake after returning from your walk. 😉
Easy. This is if you are over the hump of a tkr surgery. Once that hurdle is over, walking is easy to do. Actually, this time period didn’t come until about three months after my total knee replacement surgery. My knee surgery recuperation takes longer than your average bear due to it being caused by trauma 30 years ago.
Rest. A good walk, in my case, results in a restful night’s sleep. That is until the pain of the tkr kicks in. 😦
I swear by walking as one of the best exercises for a total knee replacement recuperation.
For more technical information, here is an article from the AARP (American Association of Retired People). Enjoy! Retrieved from: http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/walking/a2004-06-17-walking-numerousbenefits.html
The Numerous Benefits of Walking
If a daily fitness walk could be put in a pill, it would be one of the most popular prescriptions in the world. It has so many health benefits. Walking can reduce the risk of many diseases — from heart attack and stroke to hip fracture and glaucoma. These may sound like claims on a bottle of snake oil, but they’re backed by major research. Walking requires no prescription, the risk of side effects is very low, and the benefits are numerous:
Managing your weight. Combined with healthy eating, physical activity is key to any plan for long-lasting weight control. Keeping your weight within healthy limits can lower your risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.
Controlling your blood pressure. Physical activity strengthens the heart so it can pump more blood with less effort and with less pressure on the arteries. Staying fit is just as effective as some medications in keeping down blood pressure levels.
Decreasing your risk of heart attack. Exercise such as brisk walking for three hours a week — or just half an hour a day — is associated with a 30% to 40% lower risk of heart disease in women. (Based on the 20-year Nurses’ Health Study of 72,000 female nurses.)
Boosting “good” cholesterol – the level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Physical activity helps reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) in the blood, which can cause plaque buildup along the artery walls — a major cause of heart attacks.
Lowering your risk of stroke. Regular, moderate exercise equivalent to brisk walking for an hour a day, five days a week, can cut the risk of stroke in half, according to a Harvard study of more than 11,000 men.
Reducing your risk of breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. The Nurses’ Health Study also links regular activity to risk reductions for both these diseases. In another study, people at high risk of diabetes cut their risk in half by combining consistent exercise like walking with lower fat intake and a 5% to 7% weight loss.
Avoiding your need for gallstone surgery. Regular walking or other physical activity lowers the risk of needing gallstone surgery by 20% to 31%, found a Harvard study of more than 60,000 women ages 40 to 65.
Protecting against hip fracture. Consistent activity diminishes the risk of hip fracture, concludes a study of more than 30,000 men and women ages 20 to 93.
The list goes on and on. Many other studies indicate a daily brisk walk also can help:
* Prevent depression, colon cancer, constipation, osteoporosis, and impotence
* Lengthen lifespan
* Lower stress levels
* Relieve arthritis and back pain
* Strengthen muscles, bones, and joints
* Improve sleep
* Elevate overall mood and sense of well-being.
Keep it Steady
A steady routine is the most important factor in getting the most out of your exercise program. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week is recommended.
Use these tips to keep you on track:
* During your walks, you should be able to maintain a conversation. If you’re breathing too lightly, increase your pace. If you can’t catch your breath, slow it down.
* Walk around the local area after lunch or dedicate 15 minutes to walking up and down stairs. Climbing is an excellent way to strengthen your heart.
* At night, trade a half hour of TV for a brisk stroll around the block. Take a friend with you for company or get the whole family involved.
The Best Medicine
Any amount of walking is good, but for the best health results, set a brisk pace and walk for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. Be sure to check with your doctor on the level of exercise that’s best for you.
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