Over the course of a lifetime, our knees sure do withstand an awful lot – just imagine – the average person will walk more than 216,262,500 steps in their lifetime!
For this reason, these weight-bearing knees of ours are vulnerable to injury, wear and tear, and chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. The good news is that many people can avoid surgery by maintaining healthy knees by practicing healthy habits such as diet and exercise as preventative measures. In this blog, the experts at Pain Stop North Phoenix share some great exercise tips for maintaining healthy, active knees.
Recommended Exercises to Keep the Knees Healthy
- Jump Squats
According to Runner’s World, this handy little exercise can help keep knee problems at bay. Starts with your arms extended out in front of you, then squat down while pushing your rear end back. Don’t let your knees fall behind your ankles. From there, jump up as high as you can and try to come down softly, bending the knees as you land to cushion the descent. Keep your movement flowing and try to do as many reps as you can while maintaining proper form.
- Single-Leg Hamstring Curls
Health recommends the single-leg hamstring curl – a classic leg toning move – for knee-conscious people. Begin this exercise by steadying yourself with your right hand before shifting your weight onto your right leg. Then focus on bending and lifting your left knee. Repeat on both sides.
- Straight Leg Lifts
These may look easy, but they require a lot of core strength! Lay down on your back and extend your right leg so that it sticks straight out, hovering an inch or two above the floor. At the same time, bend your left knee so that your left foot is flat on the floor. Tighten your right thigh muscle without locking the knee and then slowly raise and lower the leg and repeat on both sides. This will rock your lower body as well as strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee.
- Side-to-Side Lunges
Side-to-side lunges are a great exercise move for healthy knees because they challenge every muscle group in your lower body without putting high-impact on the knees. With your hands in front of you, bring your weight over to your left leg. Lower your body and bend your left knee. Now shift your weight so that you’re in the same position on your right side. Continue switching back and forth while lunging deeply on both sides. For an added challenge, you can always do this exercise with added weight, by holding a dumbbell in your hands in front of you.
- Tone Your Core
Did you know that sit-ups can help prevent knee pain down the line? U.S. News & World Report suggests exercises that strengthen your core. Doing so can actually take excess stress off your joints, including your knees. Exercises that focus on your abs or lower back, like planking, are ideal for this!
At Pain Stop North Phoenix, we’re dedicated to tackling knee pain through non-surgical treatments so that our patients can heal with as little downtime as necessary. We believe invasive surgeries, such as total knee replacement, should be a last resort—not a first-line defense. Our medical staff is dedicated to empowering our patients with the knowledge and information about their treatment options. Call us today to schedule a free consultation!