There are several ways to raise your heart rate without running. If the impact of running is bothering your knees, or you would rather do anything than run, here are some alternate ideas.
Cycling. Whether it’s indoors on a spin bike or outside in the sun, cycling is sure to get your heart rate up without added stress to the knees. Cycling is actually great for strengthening the knees and quadriceps, and will improve your lung capacity and cardiovascular endurance in no time!
Swimming. Doing aqua aerobics or simply swimming laps is one of the best ways to increase cardiovascular health without impact to the joints. Performing exercises in water, like kicks and leg raises, creates resistance to challenge the muscles without added stress on the knees.
Step ups. Starting with a small step and something nearby to hold onto, step up with the left foot, up with the right foot, down with the left, down with the right. Repeat this for thirty seconds and switch feet. This exercise helps strengthen the quads. If you experience knee pain with the step ups try foam rolling the lower quadriceps and IT bands, and see a doctor if pain persists.
Another great option is to hire a Portland personal trainer to get you our of your comfort zone, which will in turn raise your heart rate, because of the different stimuli they are going to place on the body.
Also be aware of your shoes. If you are experiencing knee pain it could have to do with old shoes or shoes that don’t fit correctly. Knee pain can also be attributed to a lack of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet. Taking a fish oil supplement often helps with joint pain. Lastly, pain can be associated to tight muscles and weak muscles. Be sure to stretch often, foam roll, and strengthen the quads and hamstrings evenly to eliminate imbalances that lead to pain.