Exercise for folks with leg issues?

HillbillyJane

New Member
Okay, just a newbie here, but I'd like advice from people who have struggled with leg issues. Mine is basically difficulty in climbing anything: stairs, over curbs, etc. I'm fine on level ground, but anything where I have to lift up a leg is difficult, and kind of embarrassing. Pretty sure being out of shape is a good basic reason, and yes, I've been to the doctor's, and they said it's just arthritis. Well, here I am, 55 years old, and seeing people much heavier than me, older than me, and they can climb a lot better than I can. I look like a frail elderly lady going up stairs.

And there is pain, like dull hip, knee, and foot pain. So lightweight stuff is needed, no lunges or anything too tough. I also have terrible balance.

What gives??? And what is the best beginner leg toning excercises? Please don't say "stepper or elliptical". :LOL: Those are guaranteed failures to launch.
 

mlh

hi hillybilly jane
if it were me, i would talk to my doctor about this issue. getting advice from people who are not doctors or fitness instructors could be dangerous.
 

AmberTea

Member
Arthritis can be annoying and also painful, as I can attest to both. I have Osteoarthritis, back, hips, knees.
I walk as I can, and when I can, and aim to always stay active if even on a low level, I also still work part time
at my job. Walking for me is what I chose overall, not always comfortable but I have to press on.
 

I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for eons now with spinal stenosis and hip displacement, so I know how hard it is to climb stairs or even step up on a curb. Twice, I fractured my ankles by not hitting the curb flush on. But, I do at my advanced age persevere and still climb these things in order to remain mobile.
 

Kaila

SF VIP
Possibly water movements if you can have any access to that....
or start with very small goals...range of motion, very very gentle,

but I agree with above post, that you would need guidance from a physical therapist, or other professional.
 

win231

Well-known Member
Location
CA
One area that is often overlooked (especially by doctors) is diet.
There are foods that are nutrient dense & good for joints, but they're not the foods people like to eat. Vegetables; especially dark green ones. Any fruit or vegetable that is bright in color is high in antioxidants. And Green Tea is very good for joints.

I'm 67. When I was 46, I had terrible knee pain when climbing stairs; I'd curse with each step. And I was very angry to have such problems at that age. After some research, I changed my diet; a big salad every day & also drank a can of Green Tea daily. After 3 weeks, NO pain, I was running up 2 stains at a time. And no swearing.
What's your diet like?
 

win231

Well-known Member
Location
CA
A can of green tea @win? Which brand?
It makes no difference. But you want the stronger brew, as opposed to the "soft drink types" that are mostly sugar & very little tea. I found it at an Asian market. It doesn't taste good; it's rather bitter. If it tastes good, it's probably weak & mostly sugar. Read labels.
 

J-Kat

New Member
I have knee problems primarily due to osteoarthritis. When I was going to a gym I used a recumbent bicycle and it really helped to strengthen the muscles around the knee and walking was much easier. I also used various weight machines to help with overall body strengthening. I got lazy though and found many excuses not to go regularly. When this virus settles down I want to go back as I did get a lot of benefit from "working out".
 

Aneeda72

Well-known Member
Here is my advice-don’t climb stairs! Once you climb up them, you have to climb down them. Stairs are very dangerous.

Otherwise, if you just have to climb stairs, you need your doctor to send you to physical therapy where you can learn SAFE exercises suited for your needs. Exercise is not one size fits all.

In the hospital, after a total hip replacement, PT taught me to climb stairs sideways and hold on to the rail with both hands. But, as I said, see a PT.
 

katlupe

Member
Location
NY
Here is my advice-don’t climb stairs! Once you climb up them, you have to climb down them. Stairs are very dangerous.

Otherwise, if you just have to climb stairs, you need your doctor to send you to physical therapy where you can learn SAFE exercises suited for your needs. Exercise is not one size fits all.

In the hospital, after a total hip replacement, PT taught me to climb stairs sideways and hold on to the rail with both hands. But, as I said, see a PT.
The only way I can go down the stairs is backwards and sometimes that can be scary. I will try that method of going up the stairs next time I have to climb any.
 

Camper6

Well-known Member
Okay, just a newbie here, but I'd like advice from people who have struggled with leg issues. Mine is basically difficulty in climbing anything: stairs, over curbs, etc. I'm fine on level ground, but anything where I have to lift up a leg is difficult, and kind of embarrassing. Pretty sure being out of shape is a good basic reason, and yes, I've been to the doctor's, and they said it's just arthritis. Well, here I am, 55 years old, and seeing people much heavier than me, older than me, and they can climb a lot better than I can. I look like a frail elderly lady going up stairs.

And there is pain, like dull hip, knee, and foot pain. So lightweight stuff is needed, no lunges or anything too tough. I also have terrible balance.

What gives??? And what is the best beginner leg toning excercises? Please don't say "stepper or elliptical". :LOL: Those are guaranteed failures to launch.
Here's my take on it.
I don't have any real issues but I find that if I am walking and I use a cane I feel much more comfortable and it actually makes walking easier. It's an extra leg. I don't always use a cane and can walk without it. It's a choice. In winter it's a mandatory accessory. For stairs it's an extra push from the arms and really more stable when going down stairs.
As for exercise. In my opinion nothing is better than plain old walking on flat ground. A lot of the exercises recommended give me cramps.
Is there any way you can get just a plain massage on your legs.? That stimulates the muscles and flow of blood to the extremities.
I am not a believer in miracles. I'm 87.
 

Aneeda72

Well-known Member
The only way I can go down the stairs is backwards and sometimes that can be scary. I will try that method of going up the stairs next time I have to climb any.
You know when you put your feet together and then move one to the side? So your feet are together and you face the railing, then you put the first foot on the stair. You are holding railing with both hands.

The foot on the stair is moved till its braced against the stair, only then do you bring the other foot up. Repeat. Going down is obviously harder. Always start with the most stable foot and leg. Going down make sure the first placed foot is not to close to the edge of the stair but there is room for the other foot.

You are supposed to practice, using only three stairs, until you are comfortable doing it this way. They don’t let you leave the hospital until you can do the three stairs. I have explained it as best I can, and while I don't recommend stairs or any method; I think this is safer than backwards.

sometimes you can’t avoid stairs.
 
@HillbillyJane I have similar problems to yours and I cannot do stairs or kerbs/curbs either
I have sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
After lots of personal research I reckon it is the sciatica which creates problems lifting my feet
Feels like I have to lift my feet from under my arms and it is even difficult getting into and out of the car
I use an under desk elliptical and yep I was sceptical too but I bought it and it does help
It help build my chubby arthritic knees up and helps relieve my sciatica
The only thing I have found is to keep at these moderate exercises otherwise I go back where I started
This is it and it is simple to set up and use especially if you are unable to do weight bearing exercise
It took me a long time to decide to purchase one but I'm glad I did
Just look for a sturdy machine if you decide to go ahead as it does take a bit of punishment
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Birdlady

New Member
Okay, just a newbie here, but I'd like advice from people who have struggled with leg issues. Mine is basically difficulty in climbing anything: stairs, over curbs, etc. I'm fine on level ground, but anything where I have to lift up a leg is difficult, and kind of embarrassing. Pretty sure being out of shape is a good basic reason, and yes, I've been to the doctor's, and they said it's just arthritis. Well, here I am, 55 years old, and seeing people much heavier than me, older than me, and they can climb a lot better than I can. I look like a frail elderly lady going up stairs.

And there is pain, like dull hip, knee, and foot pain. So lightweight stuff is needed, no lunges or anything too tough. I also have terrible balance.

What gives??? And what is the best beginner leg toning excercises? Please don't say "stepper or elliptical". :LOL: Those are guaranteed failures to launch.
Perhaps starting slow on a recumbant bicycle if you have access to one? Or maybe walking, starting slow and easy and increasing distance and speed as you are able. That's the "anything you can do is better than nothing and it'll help strengthen things" theory my old body subscribes to, anyway.

I'd agree with others that maybe checking with your doctor for suggestions might be a good idea.
 
I have knee issues.... and have for years.....Moving the joints is the best medicine. When the gym is (was) open, I used the reclining bike.... that takes the weight off the knees and builds the muscles.... also , I don't know the name of the machine, but where you can flex your knees.... it will build the muscles around the kneecaps to support the knee better. Since the shutdown.... when the gym closed and when the local state park opened.... I started swimming 4-5 times a week.... early morning or late evening .... just dogpaddling... but did you know.... dogpaddling burns 249 calories a half hour?
 

Camper6

Well-known Member
@HillbillyJane I have similar problems to yours and I cannot do stairs or kerbs/curbs either
I have sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
After lots of personal research I reckon it is the sciatica which creates problems lifting my feet
Feels like I have to lift my feet from under my arms and it is even difficult getting into and out of the car
I use an under desk elliptical and yep I was sceptical too but I bought it and it does help
It help build my chubby arthritic knees up and helps relieve my sciatica
The only thing I have found is to keep at these moderate exercises otherwise I go back where I started
This is it and it is simple to set up and use especially if you are unable to do weight bearing exercise
It took me a long time to decide to purchase one but I'm glad I did
Just look for a sturdy machine if you decide to go ahead as it does take a bit of punishment
View attachment 113929
I see these advertised on t.v. a lot now. They look good. Easy to use. But I'm skeptical for anyone with knee problems and having pain from arthritis using them. I guess it's worth a try.

I'm thinking pool therapy would work better for someone that can't put weight on their legs.
 

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