10 Ways To Help Improve Knee Cartilage
One of our areas of focus in our facility is on the long term health of our patients, especially the orthopedic concerns of our community. Below we have listed 10 ways to help increase and maintain knee cartilage health. These are ideas not just for those whose knees plague them now but also great for those who would like to avoid concerns in the future!
1. Keep Active
As much as you are able at least! Find activities and ways to keep and stay active safely. These can include simply getting in a walk around the market, making and keeping plans with friends or walking the track at the Bearcat Stadium, the Rec Center or at a fitness center you are a member of. The more you are out and about the better!
2. Go Low - As in Impact
Focus on low impact exercises, those activities that don't place stress on your joints. Exercises that include light walking (or jogging if you feel up to it), swim or aquatics or even just stretching throughout your day can help keep your body flexible but also minimize the stress in and on your joints, including your knees.
3. Focus on Bone Strength
The more you exercise the better your overall bone strength, but it also helps with muscle strength! Obviously Calcium and Vitamin D can go a long way to supporting your overall bone health, but also weight bearing exercises like lifting weigths or even just walking, dancing, climbing stairs, dancing or taking up a sport like golf or tennis. Resistance training as well helps and there are some exercises you can do right in your own home to encourage overall bone health.
4. Be Flexible
Flexibility does more than just improve your stretch, it also can help with your balance and stability long term. Ways to up your flexibility include movement but also doing stretches before starting out on your exercise regimen or a walking; focusing on slow movement exercise like yoga, pilates or even Tai Chi can assist with becoming more flexible but also targeting specific muscle groups to help with added strength, balance, coordination and stability!
5. Work on your Range
Range and flexibility really go hand in hand, but your range of motion allows you to become better coordinated and stronger overall. Look for exercises that help you with areas like your arms, head, back, and leg groups so that you are able to twist, turn and move when you need to!
6. Treat Bone Injuries As Soon As Possible
Don't let an injury linger, particularly bruised bones, muscle sprains, or any injury really that is impacting your movement. Staying on top of these injuries is important to your long term success in staying active and improving your overall health.
7. Know Your Limits
Low Impact Exercises do not necessarily mean low intensity. Items like climbing stairs, longer walks, or participating in yoga or pilates can mean you can be out of breath in a hurry. Keep in mind that all of these exercises can be modified and if you are part of a class your class leader should be able to assist with showing the exercises modified for all levels.
8. Stretch Before Walking
A good stretch before walking around the store, outside or event short distances will only contribute further to your overall strength and longevity in the exercise. Coordinate your stretch to the activity you are getting ready to participate in so take some time for a good stretch!
9. Lean INTO Your Weight
Help improve your balance and longevity by leaning into your weight as you walk to better improve your health.
10. Consult Your Physician
A major partner in your health is your provider. Be sure to consult with your physician on any questions or concerns you may have about your orthopedic health. Remember you get one body so take great care of it!