You’re As Old as Your Knees!
Active women, hockey players, skiers and high-mileage runners can tell you, you’re as old as your knees. Whether its more hills or speed walking more than you’re used to, with knees you need to be careful not to abuse or overuse. Experiencing those aches and little pops are due to too many rigorous sports without enough rest. Exercise with rigorous knee bending, and any unfamiliar activity, taken on very quickly can lead to problems, including micro-tears from overuse. These can cause pain.
Unbalanced Workout Can Be Hard on The Knees
An unbalanced workout plan can also be hard on the knees. In an unbalanced workout some muscles are overused, while others are not used at all. For example, if you power walk. The imbalance can stress the related joints.
Help Knees Stay Pain-Free
Fear not knee problems are not inevitable! Stretching, strengthening and cross-training can all help knees stay pain-free. While knee pain should always be examined by a doctor to rule out early arthritis, injury or other conditions, the relief is that knee pain from overuse is usually solvable with rest, ice and controlled exercises for rehabilitation.
These exercises target often-neglected areas that support the knee, such as, quadriceps, hamstrings, lower back, and gluteal muscles. For ladies in particular, quadriceps muscles can be overdeveloped on the outside compared with the inside, which may pull the kneecap off balance. To build a more balanced body, it is recommended to do this routine 2-3 times a week, ideally when muscles are warmed up following a walk, doing the stretches last, as a cool-down.
Dos For Knees:
- See a doctor if you experience knee pain that is not relieved by several resting days of ice, massage, and elevation.
- Steer away from activities such as walking hills or knee-bending exercises that cause you pain.
- Develop adequate muscle strength, especially in the Hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
- Stretch emphasizing quad and hamstring muscles. (Warm up before stretching)
- Avoid locking knees completely when doing squats, lunges, or leg presses using low weights and high repetitions.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Wear appropriate shoes for that activity with arch support should your feet roll in.
- Cross-train with multiple activities on a regular basis to balance out the body.
Don’t for Knees:
- Don’t exercise with pain.
- Never overdo unfamiliar activities.
- While walking, do not overreach your stride, lock knees as you extend or over-arch the back.
- Do not straighten legs when on an elliptical trainer, exercise bike, or stair climber.
- Do not overextend knees, especially during hormonal changes, pregnancy and allow for greater fluidity of movement.
- Don’t stop exercising completely because of pain without checking with a physician about alternatives.
- Do not forget that overall stability of torso strength, and proper posture.
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