Aerobic Exercise

A single activity may include elements of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. For example, interval training, where low intensity (aerobic) and high intensity (anaerobic) work cycles alternate during the same training, has elements of both.

So does a tennis game in which you can run at one moment (anaerobic) and then move less aggressively for several minutes (aerobic) as you hit the ground from the baseline.

Most activities can be done aerobically or anaerobically. For example, you might walk briskly on the treadmill at 3.5 miles per hour and feel warm and slightly out of breath (aerobic), or you might walk briskly at 4.5 miles per hour and feel very out of breath (anaerobic).

The same goes for biking, swimming, dancing, or virtually any other activity. The intensity of training determines whether an activity is aerobic or anaerobic, and all you need to do is set the pace to get the type of training you want.

Aerobic exercises are those that use large muscle groups, are rhythmic in nature, and keep the heart rate elevated for a continuous period of time.

There are two types of aerobic exercise: high-impact and low-impact.

High impact exercises are those that when performed involve removing the feet from the floor, this type of exercise can create a force that exceeds three times the weight of the body.

Examples include jumping rope, running, tennis, and squash. This type of exercise is not recommended for Osteoarthritis because it can put stress on the joints and a greater risk of injury.

Low-impact aerobic exercises, which are optimal for people with Osteoarthritis, are those that do not put pressure on the joints or bones. Some of the most recommended are the following:


A regular bike routine can be a great exercise for people with Osteoarthritis, especially if you have it in your knees. It is a very gentle exercise as it allows the user to sit and decrease the weight load on the knees.

Cycling is highly recommended because it improves the patient’s mobility, helps reduce pain, improves the cardiovascular system and strengthens the muscles and ligaments of the knee.

This exercise can be done in the fresh air or inside the house with a stationary bicycle, however, there are several considerations to be taken into account so that it is beneficial and does not further damage the joints, for example:

-You should try to walk on a regular surface, because uneven terrain is harder and generates involuntary impacts on the knees.

-If you have osteoarthritis in your hands, you should avoid bicycles where it is necessary to hold on to the handles of the bicycle, as this can cause pain.

-To protect the knees, the seat of the bicycle must be at a height where the leg can be stretched in the downward path of the pedal; having the seat too low can exert pressure on the knees.

-To minimize stiffness and pain, it is advisable to warm up and stretch before using the bicycle.

-It is not normal to feel pain when cycling, if this occurs you should talk to your doctor.


Walking is the ideal exercise for people who have not exercised for a long time. It is a very good aerobic activity for Osteoarthritis because it does not require bearing heavy weights, and its benefits are seen in all intensities and durations.

Walking is highly recommended because: it helps build bone density, there is almost no chance of injury, improves cardiovascular fitness, helps burn calories that promotes weight loss and strengthens the muscles that support the knees, reducing joint pain.

In order to obtain the best benefits, it is advisable to start walking little by little, both in duration and intensity (these aspects should be gradual); and to carry out a walking routine at the moment of the day when the arthritis pain is less severe.


Swimming, water aerobics or walking in water are examples of some exercises that can be done in the water. This is one of the best exercises for people with Osteoarthritis, as water helps eliminate the weight-bearing forces caused by gravity during physical activity.

Performing aquatic exercises is highly recommended for people with Osteoarthritis because: they do not impact the joints, reduce the stress placed on the spine, knees and hips and the water provides constant resistance during training,


Aerobic dancing is an exercise that strengthens the muscles of the joints affected by Osteoarthritis. This type of dance must be low-impact, that is, it does not require extreme force when hitting a solid surface (such as the ground).

This exercise offers important benefits for the heart, lungs, muscles, and bones; it promotes socialization, improves coordination, and allows you to provide the benefits of physical activity to your body while having fun.

In order to obtain its benefits and prevent its performance from being counterproductive with the joints, it is important to avoid sudden, uncomfortable or dangerous movements with the joints and consult your doctor for authorization.


An elliptical is a machine that can be found in the gym or can be purchased for home use . Using it provides a very complete exercise, since it offers cardiovascular benefits similar to running, without generating an impact on the knees, since the feet never separate from the pedals.

Exercising with the elliptical is beneficial for Osteoarthritis because: it strengthens the muscles around the knee in a gentle way and without the person making a great effort, it makes the muscles of the shoulder and arm move, and allows the person to carry his own rhythm.


-Before starting any aerobic exercise routine, see your doctor for instructions on how to do the exercises and the precautions you should take. Any exercise can be a risk to your health if not addressed correctly.

-The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three or more days a week for patients with arthritis. This amount of exercise can be done in a single session or in 10-minute sessions. This will help you determine your doctor.

-It is recommended that you avoid these vigorous exercises when you are suffering a pain crisis due to your illness, take a few days of rest and consult your doctor when you are going to resume your routines.

-Choose those exercises that adapt to your lifestyle and schedules, so that it is easier for you to give them continuity and perform them regularly.

-If you have been inactive for several months or years, start with slow, steady exercise, then gradually accelerate your activity, both in duration and intensity.

-When you don’t feel energetic enough, try to do simpler exercises for less time than usual.

-If you have joint pain that lasts more than two hours after your workout, next time reduce the intensity and duration of your routine.