How are your knees? The older you get, the more apt you are to answer this question with a negative answer. Our knees support nearly 80% of our weight while standing. That a big job for two knees.
I follow a blog called Fitknitchick and I really like it. The author of the blog is Tamara Grand and she is wonderful. She is a personal trainer, group fitness and indoor cycling instructor. She is also the author of the book, Ultimate Booty Workouts. She sent me a copy of that book and it is phenomenal.
The reason I am telling you about Tamara is because she had a post this past week that really caught my attention. It was all about how to keep our knees healthy. I have had trouble with my knees for quite a few years now. Part of the trouble is weight, but the other is that I have arthritis in my right knee. I found her post very informative. You can read the full post here, but I posted her five tips for maintaining healthy knees below.
Tips for maintaining healthy knees:
1.Maintain a healthy body weight. The more you weigh, the greater the pressure on the knees. I’ve had clients who, after losing weight, reported that their knees no longer bothered them while performing squats and lunges. And their after-weight-loss movements were more coordinated and covered a larger range of motion too. Win-win!
2.Wear proper-fitting and supportive footwear. I’m a firm believer in seeing a specialist when purchasing new shoes for exercise. Knowing whether you pronate or supinate, whether you have a high or flat arch and where, on your foot, you place the bulk of your weight can help determine which shoe is most likely to support you properly during exercise. The better the shoe supports you, the lower the risk of knee and ankle injury.
3.Increase exercise intensity and duration slowly. Muscles, ligaments and tendons all get stronger in response to progressive resistance training. The key is to go slowly. Whether you’re lifting weights or training for a marathon, allowing your body to adapt to and recover from a new level of stimulus is critical to avoiding injury.
4.Warm up prior to exercise. Pre-workout warm-ups have several functions. In addition to preparing your cardiovascular system for the work to come, range-of-motion movements stimulate the release of synovial fluid in the joints. This lubricant makes it easier for muscles, tendons and ligaments to work together once the workout proper has begun.
5.Strengthen the muscles that support the knee. Try adding the following supplemental exercises to your lower body strength training days. Perform 1-2 sets of 10-12 repetitions of each, preferably after your warm-up but before your first working set or the start of your run.
If you have trouble with your knees like I do, I hope the above tips help you. I also hope you’ll go read the whole post that Tamara wrote. Like I said before, she’s pretty wonderful.
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