Your knees require your attention—are you listening up? If you experience the occasional period of pain, say, after an intense workout, or right after your pick your kids up for a hug, your knees may be telling you something. Here’s ten simple ways you can keep your knees—one of the most important joints in your entire body—the healthiest (and pain free) they can possibly be.
Move a Little
When it comes to your joints, the goal is often to prevent or minimize stiffness as much as possible. No matter what you do, as you age, you’ll experience stiffness more frequently, but staying in motion can help prevent the discomfort. Start your morning off with a walk, and take stretching breaks at work, once every couple of hours.
Work on That Ankle Mobility
This tip is something that most people don’t even consider, but the fact is, your ankle plays a pivotal role in your knee health. If you aren’t positioned correctly during a heavy lift, think about the havoc it plays on your knees! Focus on posture during your workouts, increase your ankle mobility and you’ll improve your joints in no time at all.
Add a Supplement
If you experience knee pain from time to time and you’re not taking a supplement by now, you should consider it. Fish oil is a great one to start with, as it has an anti-inflammatory effect as well as numerous other ‘essentials’ for your brain and metabolism.
Make Sure to Stretch
Stretching after a workout is so important because your muscles have been through the ringer—and your joints need the chance to stabilize, and relax. Spend ten minutes (or more) stretching out your major muscles groups. It doesn’t take long, but the payoff will be big.
Give Yourself a Good Stretch
Stretching doesn’t just help in keeping your knees clear of injury during a workout or while performing strenuous lifts at work; it also boost the happy chemicals in your brain known as dopamine. Plus, when you make stretching a daily habit, you just feel good!
Lay Off the Intensity
While a boot camp class at your gym several days a week may help you to quickly shed pounds, the intense lifting, lunging and running can do a number of your joints. Pay special attention to any twinges of pain of discomfort you experience during high intensity classes or workout programs. Even if you don’t experience pain, rotating between high and low intensity is always a smart move.
Lose a Few Pounds
The more weight you gain, the more of a burden your joints will bear. If you’ve been meaning to lose weight anyways, here’s another perfect reason to, and your joints—trust us—will thank you.
Work on Your Core
Think about core work like this: the stronger your mid-section is, the less you’re prone to falling, thanks to your new found flexibility! This is all great news for your joints, because the less injuries that ensue, the healthier your joints becomes.
While you probably already know that you should never work out ‘cold’ muscles, you may not realize how much a warm-up benefits your joints. Simply by walking at a moderate pace for ten minutes before you stretch or start your cardio session can equal to big time health for your long term knee health (as well as your knee and back joints!)
Head to the Weight Room
Consider the weight room your friend for many reasons—it gives you a healthy release to your stress, boosts your metabolism, allows you to get a toned physique, and improves the overall comfort and health of your knee joints. Incorporating a weight lifting program will help you strengthen your ligaments and muscles, so your joints don’t have to do all the work.
If you’ve been too busy to notice, your knees are trying to get your attention. They need more attention! When you apply some TLC to these important joints, you’ll feel better, and enjoy a less injury prone life. Be good to your knees, and they’ll allow you to work out, pain free.