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THE QUESTION

I used to be an endurance runner, but now I am out of shape and since I have bad knees I can no longer run. Can you suggest a workout plan?

THE ANSWER

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Try water workouts. As a former runner you may find pool running especially satisfying. Pool running allows you to mimic the motion of running without the impact on your joints.

Sample Pool workout No. 1:

Section 1: Alternate walking and running back and forth across the shallow end of the pool. Start with five sets and build to 15 sets.

Section 2: With a flotation device around your waist, do 10 minutes of deep-water stationary running.

Section 3: Finish by treading water. Start with five sets of 30 seconds. Build up to five sets of two minutes. Rest for 30 seconds in-between sets.

Sample workout No. 2

Section 1: With a flotation device around your waist, warm-up with five minutes of easy stationary running in the deep end. Next, alternate 30 seconds of intense running with 30 seconds of easy running. Repeat for five sets. As your fitness level increases, work up to completing 10 sets. Finish with five minutes of easy stationary running to cool down.

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Section 2: Swim laps for five minutes. Work up to 20 minutes.

In addition, do twice-weekly, full-body weight-training sessions to improve muscle strength, joint integrity and bone density.

Trainer's Tip

If starting an exercise program feels overwhelming, try incorporating small bouts of movement into your daily routine. Garden, park your car a couple of blocks away from your destination, walk with a colleague at lunch or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Small bouts of physical activity accumulate over time and can positively affect your health.



Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at trainer@globeandmail.com. She will answer select questions, which could appear in the Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail website. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.



Read more Q&As from Kathleen Trotter

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Click here to see Q&As from all of our health experts.

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