Healthy Knees for a Happy Summer
If the fear of knee pain is preventing you from adventuring out into the sandy or rocky terrain, say no more! Check out these 4 proactive ways to keep your knees strong and pain-free:
• Strengthen your quads! Strong quads have been shown to protect against cartilage loss in certain areas of the knee, by acting as shock absorbers for the kneecap. Even if cartilage vanishes in other parts of the knee, people with the strongest quads have still reported less knee pain and better physical function than people with weak quads.
• Take a hike…or a walk. People who pick up their feet and commit to regular aerobic exercise have much less muscle and joint pain as they age. Even better, pick up the pace! Vigorous activities like running, swimming, and brisk walking -anything that boosts your heart rate and makes it slightly difficult to talk could increase the amount of cartilage in your knees. But listen to your body….vigorous exercise = good for the knees. Vigorous exercise that causes a joint injury = really bad for the knees.
• Fill up on the good stuff! Berries, ginger, avocado, flaxseeds, omega-3-rich fish (trout and salmon in North America), or the algae where the fish get their omega-3s from all help stifle joint-damaging inflammation.
• Pilates is a great way to strengthen your knees with spring resistance!! Created by Joseph Pilates during WWII, Pilates uses low impact training to meet each persons individual needs. By strengthening the core and improving your posture, you also take pressure off the joints and the extra perk.... a strong stomach! I love it so much, I started teaching it!! Its one of my favorite ways to keep the body healthy, long and lean.