Caring for Your Knees Take care of your knees. Anyone directly involved with consistent exercise doesn’t need to be told this twice. Knee replacements are expensive and painful. Knee related injuries are no walk in the park either. Injuries like a torn ACL, bursitis, etc. cause constant pain when sitting or standing and can slow you down. Training for a race becomes impossible, as does participating in most forms of physical activity. That can seriously injure the spirits of a lot of athletes. You want to prevent injury to them at every turn. How to Take Care of Your Knees Here are a few things to do to keep them working right. First, make sure that you live at a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, your body is already experiencing more strain that it’s ready for. Your knees can’t take that pressure for long and will begin to bug you. Take steps now to reduce your percentage of body fat and get back to a weight that helps your body and makes you feel good. One of the best ways to get down in weight is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Eat your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, means, carbs, etc. Your body was built to run off of these things and can maintain a healthy weight when you give it the right nutrients. Often times, it’s simply a diet imbalance that has brought the weight up. Rebalance it and properly exercise to get those extra pounds off. When working out, work every muscle out. Equally strengthen every muscle in your knee area. Your body was built to take the stress of running. It has muscles ready to stabilize your knee. Safety When Working Out When running muscles grow stronger than these stabilizers, they will wear down and leave your knee exposed to pressures and impacts of the running process. As you can imagine, your knees are in for a load of hurt. Find out what machines will strengthen what muscles. When working out, also consider the intensity at which you work. You should start out light and slow. Slowly build up weights and resistance over time—i.e. not in the same sitting. For example, you may have once been able to run 7 miles in a morning without breaking a sweat, but if you haven’t run in six months, you are not ready to do it again. You need to slow yourself down and start with a simple half mile or mile run. If that goes well, then the next running day, you can increase your mileage by half a mile. Every week, only increase your longest run by 10% to avoid injuries. This same principle applies for lifting weights. Just because you could once, doesn’t mean you’re ready to do it again now. Start off again slow and then move your way back up. The moral of the story is to eat right, stay at a healthy weight and strengthen all of your muscles safely. Your body is ready for the activities. Just make sure that you don’t push it too much until you’ve re- taught it what to do. The orthopedic surgeons at the Hofmann Institute in Salt Lake City are about helping you maintain a healthy use of your knees for a lifetime. Walking without the aid of medical help is one of the greatest blessings.
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