Ways to keep keens healthy
Improving muscle strength, range of motion, and weight control can make your knees stronger and help reduce pain.

Knee pain is a widespread problem, particularly for older adults. Over the years, our knees go through a lot of wear and tear as we wrestle against gravity to move and walk.

In addition to natural, unavoidable aging of our knee joints, some other factors can make us even more prone to knee pain. For example, injury, excess body weight, osteoarthritis, and lack of muscle strength and flexibility can also cause or aggravate knee problems.

Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis. This degenerative disease breaks down the cartilage that cushions our joints and can lead to stiffness, swelling, aching, and immobility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 32.5 million adults in the United States suffer from osteoarthritis.

Injury to the knee, whether developed due to previous trauma or repetitive stress from running, kneeling, etc., can also cause dull, acute, recurring, or chronic pain. In addition, the injury over time can progress into osteoarthritis if left untreated.

Putting excessive stress on weight-bearing joints such as the knees increases the risk for knee pain, as well. In addition, excess body weight not only quickens joint deterioration but also increases the risk of osteoarthritis.

Similarly, weak or inflexible muscles do not share any of your body weight but pass on the entire stress on the joints. Without sufficient muscular strength and flexibility to safely support your full range of motion, your knees face a greater risk of injury.

We recommend that you adopt the following lifestyle habits to protect the health of your knees, no matter what your age is. First, however, talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.

Habits & Tips To Protect The Health Of Your Knees

  1. Strengthen your upper and lower leg muscles: Focus on exercises that strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus muscles, hip flexors, and psoas

2. Stretch those same leg muscles to help maintain your full range of motion.

3. Maintain a recommended weight. Extra weight adds substantial stress to the knees. Even a ten-pound weight loss can make a lot of difference.

4. Go for low-impact exercises to protect the cartilage in your knees. For example, cardiovascular activities such as cycling (on a properly fitted bike) and swimming can help maintain knee cartilage healthy and reduce potential damage risks.

5. Consult your doctor right away if you have a swollen knee. It can be due to damaged cartilage.

6. Be careful when playing sports that require you to suddenly start, stop or pivot, such as football or basketball.

[How To Deal With Stiff, Painful Joints]

7. Stay physically active every day: Physical activity helps prevent stiffness and muscle loss and reduces risks of future knees injury.

[Related: How To Keep Knees Healthy Over 50]

8. Mix up your exercise routine: Avoid movements that put repetitive stress on your knees because they can increase your risk of developing a knee problem.

About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Fitness Buffhq - Renu bakshiPersonal 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!”

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