Dear Dr. Bell,
I started lifting weights 2 months ago. Everything is going good and I’m seeing results, but I feel like I need some cardio or some type of activity to do on my off days. I don’t like to run because my knees pop, but I’m up for any other suggestions?
I prefer “weight bearing” type cardiovascular (CV) and cardiorespiratory (CR) exercise because you normally burn more calories and gain the additional benefit of encouraging the maintenance and hopefully development of your bones. However, if you are feeling pain or discomfort in your knees, you may be required to perform non-weight-bearing exercise, at least until you rehab your knees.
You may try swimming, rowing or biking. The recumbent bike may be more comfortable on your knees. You can try different modes of weight bearing CV and CR exercise such as walking or Ellipticals, but be very aware if they cause any stress to your knees. Walking, jogging or running at an incline greater than 8 degrees places a great deal of stress on your knee complex.
Your number one best option is to go see a good Sports Medicine Doctor and get some expert advice on the cause of the underlying problem.
To gain your own measure of expertise, I recommend the IFPA Sports Medicine Specialist! Good Luck!