Over 10% of Canadians are affected by knee osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative condition of the cartilage at the joint. Osteoarthritis (and other knee conditions that cause knee pain and stiffness) can easily be prevented if you follow the right health strategies.
Here’s what you should do to improve your knee health.
Exercise (Even When You Really Don’t Want To)
We’ve all heard the age-old advice of incorporating exercise in our daily routines. Physical activity can help improve your overall wellness in various ways, be it lifting your spirits or reducing the risk of getting a cardiovascular disease. What you probably don’t know is that exercising also helps in strengthening your knees and keeping them healthy. The more consistent you are with your exercise regime, the better your knee health will be and the less likely you’ll be to experience pain or stiffness at the joint.
The key, however, is to be cognizant of your own limits. While you want to strengthen your knee muscles, especially the hamstring and quadriceps, overworking them will do more harm than good. As important as it is to stay physically active and exercise regularly, make sure you’re not putting too much weight on your knee muscles. It’s also best to avoid exercises that exert excess stress on your knee joint.
Keep Your Posture Straight
It’s time to get rid of that slouching posture, once and for all!
Here’s what happens when you slouch: you lean forward, causing you to bend over at the waist. This exerts pressure at the knee joint, causing pain and cartilage degeneration. The muscles are strained and fatigued, which makes them more prone to injury.
This is why it’s important that you keep your shoulders straight and centered over your pelvis. To maintain a good posture, you can try yoga, Pilates, back extensions, and plan exercises and ultimately help prevent excess pressure being exerted on your knees.
Weigh Your Options
Our knees tend to withstand almost six times our weight as we go about our everyday activities. Even ordinary body motions can exert additional pressure on your knee joint, causing it to weaken. The cartilage in the knee joint starts to degenerate, lessening the cushioning provided at the joint otherwise.
So, what can you do to prevent this from happening?
Firstly, maintain a healthy body weight that aligns with your BMI. Try to lose excess weight through a healthy diet and exercise schedule so that your knees aren’t being forced to hold the extra pounds. Secondly, keep a check on your occupational activities. If you’re lifting heavy objects on a daily basis, then you’re doing your knees no favour. Try to come up with alternate methods to perform tasks that require heavy lifting so that your knee health isn’t jeopardized.
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