Exercise Options for Obese MIL with Bad Knees and Arthritis

Updated on April 15, 2009
J.T. asks from Mansfield, TX
8 answers

My sweet mother-in-law's body is a mess. She is about 200 pounds overweight, diabetic, has arthritis in most of her joints, and her knees are so bad that her doctor said they are "bone on bone". She cannot have knee replacement surgery because of her weight--it would only last about a year the doctor says. I'm certain she is eating healthier than she used to, but she does not exercise--even walking hurts. I believe water aerobics would be the best thing for her; however, she says she has to do it in a pool that does not have stairs for entering and exiting the pool (LA Fitness and perhaps 24 Hour have stairs). Does anyone know of a rehab clinic or gym or any other place where my MIL could go for water exercise? I'm certain she could have it prescribed as therapy by her doctor if needed. OR, what about those exercise videos (I'm picturing old-school Richard Simmons) where your heart rate gets up from upper body movement alone--anyone heard of weightloss success from those? She is not eligible for gastric by-pass or lap-band because of a liver condition she currently has. I realize she has dug herself into quite a hole, but I sure would love to see her pull out of it and get to living life again. Thanks for any help you can give me!!!

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answers from Dallas on

The Heritage Senior Center in Irving has a large pool with a ramp to enter/leave the pool. They also have water aerobics classes. I'd call them and see if she can join, even if she doesn't live in Irving. I know you don't have to be a senior to participate in the water aerobics (although I believe the "senior" age minimum is 50, so she might qualify anyway). You might also try community colleges / rec centers in her area and see if they have pools with lift systems or ramps.

Also, I think there's a rehab center/pool near Bachman Lake in Dallas (my dad qualified to go there because of his diabetes and a doctor's prescription). Don't know if they have a ramp/lift, but I would imagine they do.

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answers from Dallas on

Village Wellness in Plano at Spring Creek Parkway between Preston Rd & the Toll has low intensity workout programs that will fit her needs. They also work with a PT program on-site and family doctors that are specialists in diabetes. Check them out at www.village-wellness.com.

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answers from Dallas on

The Jewish Community Center has an indoor warm water pool with a ramp, but there are a couple of steps down. That could be a good start. Has she tried an elliptical machine? If she can step up onto it.....it is very gentle on joints.

If you need a good healthy diet that will work for a diabetic drop me a note and I'll tell you about Shaklee's Cinch.Best of Luck


answers from Dallas on

Water exercise/ therapy is excellent. My mom (not obese by far) was as all state athlete and had to have both knees replaced in her early 60s. She opted for 1 at a time, went to rehab and worked her butt off. Then, went got the other one done and did the process all over again.

She did a lot of water rehab and to this day she rides her bike a lot. The bike is easier on the knees.

As for my mom, she is in good health overall...her knees gave out after her high school and college career of playing basketball. I can't answer to weight issues...only joint and how she says the water rehab helped her so much.

There are a lot of park and rec centers with pools where you can go swim and work out for nominal fees. Try it...



answers from Abilene on

It sounds like she needs to discuss her options with her doctor in more detail.

There are several options for exercise but because of her medical condition she should be monitored by physical therapists or someone like that.

I don't know if you've ever watched the TV shows on TLC about the morbidly obese clinics. They have very dramatic results with their patients who are in as bad of shape as your MIL. It can be done but it will take lots of determination on her part.



answers from Dallas on

If she cannot get in or out of a pool with stairs or ladders, it becomes a liability to the facility because she would need assistance.

I would suggest she try hand weights at first. she can do these thing while seated. You don't have to use the entire body to exercise and burn fat. You just have to get your heart rate up a little. So even just doing the arm motions of an aerobic video can help with losing weight in her condition.

My mother's knees were bone to bone also. My mother is still over weight to this day. They replaced her knees with metal. She has no pain in them and they will not break down. So maybe she needs to see another dr.

Good luck and God bless!



answers from Dallas on

Check out my website. www.discoverlimu.com/jcarden
Original Limu can help your MIL with some of her health problems I believe. The main ingredient called fucoidan has been tested in over 780 studies and works with your body to heal itself in many ways.
We have a meeting coming up on the 18th of April to share the information about Limu and the company. You and your MIL might hear some things that could help.
Please get in touch with me with any questions.



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