Our knees are crucial for everyday life so taking care of them is essential for your health and enjoyment, both now and long into the future. To make sure your legs are the bee’s knees, we’ve put together five tips for taking care of your knees.
Diet is arguably the most important lifestyle factor to affect your health. There are two main aspects to how this relates to your knee - weight and nutrients.
Weight: Managing a healthy weight is important to your knee health, as overloaded weight on the joints can lead to arthritis, strain and instability. Cutting down on fats and sugars is a good way to help weight loss here.
Nutrients: There are a wide range of foods which contain the nutrients and minerals to boost joint health in the knee. These include salmon, tuna and mackerel, lentils and beans, nuts and whole grains, root vegetables and garlic as well as most fruits, especially stone fruits like mango, nectarines and cherries.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to build up strength in the knees. Building up muscle strength in the areas surrounding the knee joint help to protect and unload the knee itself.
By maintaining healthy strong muscles around the knee, you also reduce the risk of injury or damage, especially during sports and physical activity.
It’s easy to think that working safely with posture and ergonomics is only for your back, but your knees are often very affected by the way you sit, stand and move at work. To make sure you’re working the right way for your knees, follow these steps while at work:
- Tradies and physical work – wear knee pads when kneeling on hard surfaces and minimise up and down work or holding a squat position while you’re working.
- Office work and retail – walk around and move your legs every 20-30 minutes to keep the joint active and blood flowing. Make sure you are wearing supportive footwear or insoles which stabilise the arches.
- Drivers and pilots – Stretch out the knees where possible, and wear compression sleeves if you’re behind the wheel for long stretches.
Featured above: GenuTrain knee brace
Many of us enjoy playing sport or activities like bushwalks and hikes. While these are fun, there’s always a risk of injury.
If you have previous issues like an old knee injury, family history or a weakness in the joint, wearing a knee brace helps to minimise the risk of injury, as well as increase your stability and strength in the knee.
Regularly stretching the knee is something we normally do before and after exercise, often without knowing the actual reason why.
Warming down the muscle after movement is actually far more important than warming up, as it helps the muscles to cool down properly and prevent injury occurring.
It’s also crucial as it helps to keep the tendons and ligaments in your knees limber and flexible, which helps to give balance and stability to the knee and makes them resilient to injury over the long-term.
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