Your Knees are your friends!
Let’s talk about being active and healthy, and one of the most important things that helps us stay active and mobile are healthy KNEES!
Knees are often overlooked when it comes to staying active and healthy.
If you think about it, our knees are incredibly important and play a huge role in supporting the body. They allow us to walk, run, bend down, drive, etc., and yet hardly anyone knows how to actually take care of them.
Now, you might think that ‘exercising’ would be a good thing for you, and most of the time it is – it helps to keep you in great shape and is good for your joints. So, why wouldn’t it be good for you? Here’s an example: if you like to go jogging it can sometimes do more harm than good.
Think of it in this way:
Each time you take a stride your leg is bending, causing your knee joints to work and when your foot lands you are putting 2.5-3 times your body weight through those joints. Now think of how often and how long you would jog or run for? 10, 20 minutes? Maybe even more? This repetitiveness can have an effect on your knees over a long period of time.
Even walking or doing stairs can cause aches and pains in our knees, if we don’t look after them. We are recommended to do 10,000 steps a day, and with each step, we use our knees. If we manage to do the recommended steps, then it is likely that your knees have been bent at least 10,000 times within the day! (That’s a lot of bending!)
Now, I’m not saying to avoid running and walking altogether. What I want to share with you is why it’s important to prepare your body properly for these types of exercises (so aches and pains don’t stop us from being active and going about our daily lives). We thoroughly recommend being as active as possible, including running wisely and safely.
Let’s take a look:
Firstly, my recommendation for anyone who is experiencing or knows of anyone experiencing knee pain – seek advice from someone who knows understands how the body works i.e your local healthcare professional, who will be able to point you in the right direction of what to do.
Show your knees some love while exercising. Warm up, a lot of people don’t realize that warming the body up beforehand can actually help you walk, jog, and run further and with more ease (and reduce the risk of injury!). Warmer muscle are less prone to injury, and generally less stiff.
Cooling down has exactly the same principle. Stretching after exercise is key to easing stiffness in the morning. When you stretch your muscles after exercise, your muscles relax and ease their tension. Stretching after exercise also improves circulation and flexibility, helping you to ease the chances of knee pain.
Strengthening the knees. This is a really important point!! Strength in our muscles helps to move, support and absorb all the daily movements that we put our knees through. With less strength, comes the likelihood of more pain and injury susceptibility.
Think about how often pick up your children or grandchildren after chasing them around the house, park or garden?
Sometimes chasing after children seems a bit like a work-out! So, when you get home, make sure you stretch before you go to bed. Your knees have had extra strain on them as opposed to any other day, which could leave you in pain the next morning when you roll out of bed.
Now for those who love to do work in the garden when the sun is out – How often do you plant your flowers kneeling down? This one may go without saying but this is probably one of the worst things you can do to your knees! The amount of pressure and sheering force you are putting on them is quite something! Not only are your knees supporting your full body weight, they are forced onto the hard ground and are kept in that position for over an hour! Some of you reading this might not think it takes that long to plant new flowers. Or perhaps you don’t stay on your knees because it’s easier to get up and get your garden tools?
Either way, your knees will be suffering. The best way to approach gardening, is to bring all your tools with you, and get a kneeling cushion too, though I understand sometimes even these can become uncomfortable. My advice would be to try and use one, and if it becomes too much, sit on your bum and use the cushion.
However, the most crucial part is timing! Try not to kneel for longer than 10 minutes with a knee rest, get up often and move around before kneeling again to get movement to your joints. Yes, the gardening may take longer but you will be looking after your knees, and if you love gardening then you have nothing to lose!
So, next time you have a slight ache or pain in your knees, don’t brush it off! Our knees are what keep us independent and living life to the full, remember that!
If you, or someone you know is suffering with knee pain and you’d like some more tips on how to ease it, then have a look through this free report on knee pain:
Have a read and gain back your independence! Visit my website where you can pick up a copy of my free report instantly, or click here:
Suffering from Knee Issues?? We also hold FREE Knee Pain Workshops at our clinic. Why not call the clinic to find out when the next one is.