Which sport should you do when your knees hurt?

Do you think that having a knee problem means you can't exercise? Or perhaps you've tried taking a break, but your knee pain keeps coming back when you start exercising again? We're here to help you understand why and show you what you can do to change this.

Why do your knees hurt?

Before we start looking at which sport might be right for you (psst... walking), it's important to pinpoint the potential causes of your knee problems:

          IMPACTS                                      OVERTRAINING

When you train too often and too fast , you don't give your muscles enough time to regenerate, because you are using them before they've had a chance to rest. Baptiste Gicquel, podiatrist, tells us more about your body's capacity for adaptation." You have to start off with gentle exercise if you want to increase your adaptation threshold. You will strengthen your tendons as well as your bones and muscles. Say goodbye to tendinitis!"
Impacts occur during many different sports such as running, athletics, football, and dancing. Repeated impacts lead to the premature wear of bones and the tendons that link bones together, which means that the bones rub together. Luckily, walking is gentle on the knees! On the other hand, you should know that it is a very comprehensive sport.

             INCORRECT MOVEMENTS                               SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a rapid loss of muscle mass, and therefore it's important to avoid impacts. If you have arthritis and a sedentary lifestyle, Baptiste, podiatrist, strongly recommends "avoiding inactivity, because this will only maintain the condition." The best way to re- build up your muscles gradually and gently is to get moving by doing regular exercise! Need some motivation?
Incorrect movements can also be a cause of knee pain. A pronator step will make the knees turn inwards. If you experience pain when repeating this movement, it means that other muscles are being used to compensate. In this case, you should consider seeing a specialist, who can provide you with a diagnosis and solutions to help you avoid pain and even injuries.

Walk to reduce impacts

When you walk, you always keep one foot on the ground. If you are more used to running, or playing rugby, tennis etc., you will find that walking significantly reduces impacts. In fact, when you walk, you are supporting one and a half* times your body weight, compared to five to eight times (according to your speed) when you run!

*However, if the walking movement isn't carried out correctly, you will be supporting twice your body weight rather than one and a half times, and therefore it will be more traumatic. This is why it is so important to choose the right equipment.

 Nordic walking, with poles of course, will also save your knees. It takes 30 to 35% of pressure off them. "When there are hills to go down, this is a significant saving! " says Baptiste.


The "Newfeel Marche Sportive" and "Newfeel Marche Nordique" Facebook groups are run by the walkers themselves. You will find a friendly group, where you can share your sporting experiences. You will be inspired by the beautiful landscapes shared in certain posts, even if you are currently convalescing. Check them out!

Other benefits of walking


Other than reducing impact, fitness walking gives you the opportunity to work on your breathing in a gentle way in order to gradually increase your lung capacity as well as your endurance.

This sport also allows you to improve your balance and your coordination because, as well as using your legs, you also need your arms to help you walk.

Finally, fitness walking shows you that carrying out the specific movements of this sport correctly will allow you to make progress and gain in speed. This is particularly true for the foot motion, as the heel strike, foot placement and push off are all enjoyable movements to carry out.


Sport walking
Nordic walking and fitness walking are gentle sports activities that have many similar benefits. However, switching from fitness walking to Nordic walking requires some adaptation, especially for learning to use the poles properly. Let's look at the details!
All advices
Are you expecting, in good health, and looking for a sport to do during pregnancy? Opt for something gentle that needs stamina, like fitness walking. It's perfect as your body changes! Here are some tips on walking during pregnancy…
Sport walking
Fitness walking, whether it is fast or Nordic walking, is an excellent sports activity for losing weight that is often practised for improving the figure. It's true that this endurance sport is a way of gently recovering or maintaining one's ideal weight. These 3 factors have a direct influence on the number of calories expended during each of your fitness walking sessions.
All advices
Did you stop exercising due to a lack of time or an injury? Do you want to slowly ease back into exercising? Safely get back on track with power walking: this full-body exercise is accessible to everyone and easy on the joints.
Sport walking
Sports specialists define walking as "the nearest thing you can get to the ideal physical exercise". Fitness walking is an accessible sport that can be practised at different paces and for different reasons. Follow our guide to finding the right pair of shoes for fitness walking.
Sport walking
Fitness walking is a gentle endurance sport which uses many muscles, including your heart. Practising fitness or power walking strengthens your heart. It's an effective way to prevent heart disease - the most common cause of death in France.
Sport walking
It's done! You've chosen your sport, and it's fitness walking! Walking is an excellent choice, offering lots of benefits for the body and the mind. Here a few simple tips before you start, to make sure you get off on the right foot.