As per a research study published in the American Family Physician in 2018, about twenty-five percent of adults in the U.S. suffer knee pain, with the condition shooting up 65% during the past 20 years alone.
Knee pain develops due to wear and tear of our knee joints as we age or can occur because of a knee injury. As a result, knee pain can affect virtually every aspect of our everyday routine. Even just a minor discomfort in our knees can put a damper on enjoying our lives.
You don’t need to worry. Just because you’re suffering knee pain now doesn’t mean a future surgery or a lifetime of discomfort. That is a foregone conclusion. So read on to find out expert-backed best ways to keep your knees healthy and pain-free over 50.
Make these simple changes to your routine to keep your knees healthy and pain-free.
Seven Habits To Keep Your Knees Healthy & Pain-Free Even After 50
Pay attention to how you sit
One of the easiest ways to maintain your knees healthily doesn’t necessarily need exercise – it’s all about the habit of how you sit.
To quote Sidney Hagge-Cocke, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at Preferred Physical Therapy in Kansas City, Kansas: “Make a habit of sitting without crossing your legs. Never sit on a sofa with your legs under you. When you sit with your legs crossed, more pressure is put on your knee joints which can cause irritation or pain that is likely to progress to more pain moving forward”.
Always warm-up and cool down
Never forget to do the warm-up or cool-down portion of your workouts. Not doing them puts undue wear and tear on your knees during the main exercise session.
To quote Hagge-Cocke: “Always do a quick warm-up before the main exercise session. This can be as simple as doing some seated exercises, such as ankle pumps, seated marches, long arc quads, and hip adduction”.
Hagge-Cocke adds: “Cool-down static stretches are just as necessary as the dynamic warm-up. Try to do some quadriceps, hamstring, adductor, and IT band stretches to continue to maintain your flexibility.”
Squats are undoubtedly great for strengthening muscle, but doing them wrong can make your knee pain go worse in no time.
Hagge-Cocke says: “Here is a small trick to ensure you are performing squats correctly. While lowering yourself into a squat position, never allow your knees to go too far forward or beyond your toes. Instead, imagine as if you are going to sit in a chair or on the toilet.”
Wear the right shoes
Even if you’re using the correct technique and proper form during your workout, the wrong shoes can lead you into painful territory.
If you have access, visit a running or a specialty shoe store and get your feet assessed for proper shoes. Everyone has a different arch shape and needs a style of shoe accordingly. Next time you buy a shoe, get professional assistance. Your knees will thank you!”
Whereas overexertion can lead to severe knee pain, a sedentary lifestyle can be just as problematic.
Walking is an excellent low impact exercise for knees. On the one hand, it helps the lower body stay healthy; on the other, it also improves your cardio endurance for overall health. So, try to move your body whenever you can, walking around for at least twenty to thirty minutes each day.
Make swimming part of your routine
Swimming is a great low-impact exercise to keep your knees stay healthy and strong. It is almost a zero-impact way to keep your legs overall strong and healthy. During swimming, your quads and hamstrings work against water resistance and hence get strengthened. Moreover, it’s calming, refreshing, and great for you physically and mentally.
Strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee
My last tip to you is to spend some time building the muscles surrounding your knees to stay pain-free.
As per my experience, the best way for 50-plus adults to keep their knees healthy and strong is to strengthen the muscles that support their knees. They can achieve that by working on all the muscles in the quadriceps (front of the thighs), hamstrings (back of the thighs), as well as the abductor and adductor muscles (insides and outsides muscles). Weak and imbalanced muscles supporting your knees can cause knee-joint wear and tear, leading to pain.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”