For many people, knee trouble is the first sign that the body isn't quite as resilient as it once was. Old injuries pop up again and long term problems are not at all uncommon. However, this doesn't mean active people need to stop exercising, just adopt some knee friendly workouts and exercising...
The most obvious step is to cut high-impact activities like jogging out of your weekly exercise regime. Even the most die-hard runners admit that it's not easy on the knees, but for most of us there is no need to stopping running altogether. Just switch from road and pavement jogging to running on the grass in your local park, and make sure you've got a really good pair of shoes. Or invest in a JTX Sprint-7: Large Motorised Treadmill, which has excellent shock absorption properties.
If you can, get sports footwear fitted by an expert no matter what you're doing. There is no one perfect pair of shoes for everyone - each of us has different feet, different posture, and a different way of walking and running. The right shoes will not just provide padding to prevent repeated impacts from damaging knee joints. They'll also keep your feet, ankles, and knees in a harmonious alignment while you work out. That will significantly reduce the chance of both long-term and acute injuries.
Always stretch before exercise, whether it's running, lifting weights, working out on an exercise machine or playing with the kids. Just a few minutes of gentle lunges and side stretches can prevent sprains, strains, and back injuries, so it's well worth taking a little extra time, every time.
There are plenty of low-impact knee friendly exercise options both in the gym and out of it. Take yoga, pilates, and swimming for example. Swimming is one of the very best activities for anyone with joint problems. Your weight is borne by the water, not by your knees, and you can still get a good aerobic workout. For added benefit, pick a swimming pool with a whirlpool or spa area. The gentle massage you get from warm, swirling water has been shown to improve blood flow to the limbs and speed up healing in muscles and joints.
Hiking can also be very rough on the knees, but it's something a lot of active people really enjoy. Again, you don't necessarily need to stop entirely. In this case the key is to plan the hike carefully so that steep sections are on the way up, not on the way down. Avoid carrying a heavy backpack if at all possible and use trekking poles - they can really ease knee and hip trouble.
Whatever activities make up your exercise regime, always listen to your knees. If something is causing you pain it's probably doing damage. Stop, take a rest, and try again later. If there is still discomfort, it might be time to try another activity or take steps to make your workout easier on the knees. As ever always consult a medical professional.
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