One of the most common questions I get is, “Will exercise hurt my knees?” No!
If you want healthy knees for life, an active lifestyle is an important component, and the key is to start now, not when you begin to have knee pain.
However, if you have had a knee replacement or if you have arthritis, you can still make great improvements. A structured exercise program can help improve your range of motion, pain, strength and balance.
A recent study in The Knee found that hip and knee muscle strength, pain and function significantly improved after completing dynamic balance training at least once a week, for six weeks.
High-impact exercise might not be your first choice, but there are many safe and effective exercises that you can do. Just be sure to check with your physician before starting any new program.
So, what can you do stay maintain or improve knee function? Three simple things:
1. Get Moving
Sitting and being sedentary is one of the quickest ways reduce strength and function of the lower body.
Standing up and sitting down repeatedly (about three sets of 10, one to two times per day) can improve your strength and mobility.
2. Regular and Structured Exercise
While walking can be very beneficial, stressing the musculoskeletal system through weight bearing exercises can improve muscular control, strength and endurance while improving bone mineral density and strengthening ligaments and tendons.
Think squats, lunges and for those of you who don’t have any knee issues, functional training is an excellent way to improve the function and performance of your entire body.
Simple balance exercises such as standing in place and heel-to-toe walking are great for your knees and can be done anywhere.
This is especially important for older folks who have had falls or are fearful of falling.
Don’t wait until you start to have pain in your knees. Try the three tactics above today for healthy knees for life.
Before performing any exercise consult your physician for clearance. Stop exercising immediately if you feel lightheaded, dizzy or have chest pains.
Find your strength at Carilion Wellness!