Have you noticed that your knees are a little stiff and sometimes scream a when you try to get up off the couch? As men and women age, we experience a loss of bone mass as well as normal wear and tear on the joints. But don’t worry, you can avoid knee replacement surgery and the long recovery by starting now to take better care of your joints and bones. My own body is more flexible and healthy now at age 58 than it was at 20. And I intend to keep the two knees that I was born with well into my 90’s and beyond!
Let’s take a look at supplements. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two compounds which are building blocks for healthy cartilage and improved joint mobility, and slow osteoarthritis-related damage to the joints. Many people find they have greater flexibility not only in their knees, but also feet and hands when they begin taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin. They are available anywhere vitamins are sold.
Now let’s look at exercises. Walking is an ideal way to get daily exercise – it strengthens almost every major organ in the body, promotes bone density, and boosts your immune system. But how you put one foot in front of the other makes a difference – especially for knees. Your walking habits may be causing your knee discomfort.
* Walk with your head erect and your back straight. Before you start your walk, take a minute to lengthen your spine so your shoulders are level and square, and you have that lovely natural curve in your lower back. Then, look ahead and train your sight 10 to 20 feet ahead of you. If you need to check the ground to avoid obstacles, make sure you lower your eyes, not your head.
* Take shorter steps, and walk like John Wayne. Seriously. If you concentrate on starting each step with your hip bone, you’ll be protecting your knees, and you’ll walk a little like John Wayne. Many people throw their knees out first for each step and this puts a strain on your knee, so practice the John Wayne style around your house first, until you can walk comfortably with your hip joint leading the way (and without looking silly).
Another important way you can keep your knees healthy is by building your thigh muscles. Any exercise that builds strong thigh muscles, like squats, will help those muscles protect your knees. Now, if you already have issues with your knees and squats are too difficult for you, you can try holding the back of a chair with one hand while standing with the chair at your side. Then, place one leg in back of the other, about 3 feet apart, and slowly bend your knees to lower your upper body towards the floor. The front knee should be directly over your ankle – don’t let it go in front of the ankle and keep your back straight. Go only as far as you can and build up reps slowly. This lunge doesn’t strain your knee, also strengthens your thigh muscles, and using a chair helps keep you balanced.
These are just a few simple things that you can do that don’t cost much, take very little time, yet provide big results in avoiding costly knee replacement surgery.
Best of Health