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A Study Has Revealed1 Exercise That Can Reduce Arthritis And Knee Pain

Cycling can be an expensive hobby, with bikes regularly costing upward of $1,000 and even $2,000. But you don’t need to splurge on a pricy bike to see knee health benefits, Yang stressed. You don’t need to be a serious biker who puts in tons of miles every day either.

“It’s just as simple as getting on a stationary bike ― a lot of these things don’t require too much. If you have a bike in your garage, ride around the neighborhood first. If you have access to a gym, get on the stationary bike 15 to 20 minutes, two or three times a week,” Yang said. 

It’s important to note that bicycling isn’t the only exercise that can benefit folks with arthritis. According to White, this study underscored previous research that shows general physical activity and exercise are not only preventative in the development of knee osteoarthritis, but also can be an effective treatment for people with the condition or knee pain.

“Even in this study, they talk about the fact that other activities — like swimming, running, strength training — help decrease what we call symptomatic arthritis … you can have arthritis and you may not have as much pain from the arthritis with exercise,” Tomazic added.

Many people who have arthritis are nervous about exacerbating their pain by exercising, which is a natural fear, White said. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying — and you can always talk to your doctor beforehand to get the right exercise regimen for you.

Additionally, White said it’s normal for the knee to hurt after exercise, but it should go away quickly if you notice any pain at all. And, as mentioned above, exercising your knee will only help your ongoing pain as you move forward.

“Finding something that helps you be active is the most important thing you can do,” White said. “So, for some, it’s biking, but then for others, it might be swimming and then for others it might be going for a walk.”

As people age, physical activity is key to delaying the effects of aging on your muscles and joints, White added, “especially when you have a chronic disease, like knee arthritis or knee osteoarthritis.”

If you want to start cycling outdoors, Tomazic stressed that it’s important to do so safely: Wear a helmet and other protective gear like kneepads and elbow pads, consider purchasing safety lights, stay in bike lanes and follow the rules of the road. 

“If you’re nervous about starting or not sure of what you know, seeking help from a physical therapist is a great way to go,” White said. Physical therapists can help you create a custom exercise plan to combat any knee pain and keep your knees as healthy as possible as you get older.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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