Are Your Knees Healthy?
Is knee health top of mind? Well, it better be considering the importance of keeping this joint strong. Check out all you need to know about knee health and some important tips for keeping it optimal!
Knee health on your mind?
No matter what your choice of exercise is, how often you’re active, or what your fitness level is, knee health is extremely important.
Even if your activity level is low, participating in physical activity and being lax about your knee health can lead to long term issues with your joints. Knee degeneration is a common occurrence that happens with age, but certain things can be done to help slow down the process.
Warming up before exercise, paying attention to your form, knowing your body, and making changes when appropriate are all ways to keep your knee health a top priority.
As we age, our bodies naturally begin to degenerate in one way or another and our knees are no different. Age, weight, heredity, health, fitness, and even gender all have a hand in knee health and its inevitable degeneration on some level.
It’s important to realize that joint issues are common for everyone at some point in their life.
There are ways to keep your joints healthy and be mindful of ways to keep your knees in a good place without stopping activity altogether. If you practice tips to keep your knees healthy early on, you may be able to stop some of the degeneration – or at least slow it down.
The degeneration of the knee is called osteoarthritis where the articular cartilage is broken down. It’s the leading cause of disability in the United States.
The Importance of Warming Up
Warming up is important no matter what kind of exercise you are doing and preparing your knees for any type of strenuous activity is extremely important for your knee health.
Taking a short walk, doing some light cardio, flexing and extending the leg, or doing some lunges are all ways to warm up your knees before a workout that will affect your knees. When doing squats or other leg workouts don’t start with a large amount of weight.
Warm up with a much lower weight and work up to the weight you’re used to. Going from zero to sixty with any part of your body is unsafe, but not allowing your knees to warm up is especially dangerous since your knees are predisposed to joint issues anyway.
Watch Your Form
There are so many rules with form that exist specifically to prevent injury. For doing squats, don’t sacrifice a safe technique for adding more weight. Keep your hips behind your heels and sit back into the squat. Some common issues with form when squatting that can damage the knees are keeping weight on your toes or having your knees moving too far forward.
Always double check your form or ask someone else to make sure your form is on point in order to prevent any knee or other body issues. Leg machines, deadlifting, and even running with an incorrect form can injure your knees.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Many of us tend to be a little stubborn when it comes to pain or listening to our bodies when we need to. Working out is all about pushing ourselves and getting our bodies to be stronger and better. However, there’s a difference between good pain and bad pain that can be hard to distinguish.
Muscle burn is good pain, but excessive joint pain is not. Listen to your body and it can prevent damage to your knees before you push your body too far. If something is painful or uncomfortable, chances are your body is telling you to stop for a reason.
With knee injury being so common and knee degeneration being inevitable, it’s important not to ignore any knee injuries early on.
Make Appropriate Changes
If you are experiencing knee pain or knee problems when working out, or just in your day to day life it doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on your knee health. Listen to your body and make the appropriate changes to your routine in order to keep your knees healthy.
Discuss options with your doctor to not create or aggravate an injury.
If your knee is acting up when running, try different running shoes or a more extensive warm up. For pain during squats, lower the weight, check your form, or utilize a knee brace. Prevention is key, so when the pain starts be sure to make the appropriate changes to help protect your knee health.
Knee health is important because your knees are the main joint between you and the ground..
This is also why they are also prone to degeneration or injury. Your knees are used in your day to day life as well as your active life and therefore see a lot of wear and tear.
To avoid more knee issues it’s important to stay at a healthy weight, continue to workout without pushing yourself too far, allow your body to warm up, watch your form, listen to your body, and change your routine appropriately.
Your knee health is important, so don’t neglect one of your most vital joints while staying active.
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