Having had to retire from competitive sports due to several knee operations and now heavy osteoarthritis I am trying to find a good exercise to enjoy and replace the social side also. I'm in my mid 40's and typically suffering that mid aged crisis point suffering depression and anxiety. My weight is gaining and I've never been heavier at 15st for just 5'9" height. Hate it
What exercise to do?: Having had to... - iPrescribe Exercise
Thanks for the post and I love the photo! It can be really challenging to adapt when you've retired from competitive sports due to injury - I saw a lot of this when I worked with professional sportspeople. Both the fitness and the social sides can be challenging.
Firstly from a fitness side, the iPrescribe Exercise App has a good deal of information on osteoarthritis - look in the "More" tab on the dashboard and go to "Library". Basically the 3 main components of a programme should be aerobic, strengthening and flexibility. Low impact aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling and swimming can be pretty good and a twice a week strengthening programme, especially working the quads works well.
In your position, just getting back in to the routine of consistently exercising should be the first priority. Don't worry about pushing things hard initially - start low and gradually progress as your knee and fitness allows. This can be pretty tough when you're used to high intensity sports I know, but works really well in the long term. You don't want to fall in the trap of working too hard and then getting discouraged and stopping. iPrescribe Exercise will give you a good programme to follow from the aerobic side, but the same thing can be done for the strengthening exercises.
Some knee pain is acceptable when you're exercising as long as it (and any swelling) generally settles within 24 hours and isn't worsening over time.
This then leaves the social side of the exercising, and this can be the tough point. Try out a few different activities and see what's going to be fun and challenging for you. Cycling is great, because its good for fitness and quads strength and is perfect for arthritis. It can also be very social and competitive if you'd like or just recreational. However, it really has to be what works for you.
Let me know how things get on.