Throughout your life, your knees take a beating. Overuse, arthritis and cartilage tears are common, but they don’t have to happen to you. Here are a few tips to keep your knees healthy:
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
Have you ever loaded your car with heavy objects or multiple people and noticed that the ride wasn’t quite as smooth? The same holds true for your knees. When you are overweight, you’re putting an extra burden on the knees’ cartilage, which can cause it to wear down more quickly.
2. Have a balanced, regular exercise routine.
If you only work out the first week of January, you’re not doing yourself—or your knees—any favors. Knees are meant to be moved, and strong leg muscles support and help take strain off of the knee.
Dr. Edward Blocker, an orthopaedic surgeon at Beaufort Memorial, agrees. “It would be incorrect to think you should limit your walking and increase your sitting,” he says. “Low-impact joint motion actually helps keep your joints healthy. Hinges that aren't worked get rusty and stiff. Activities such as walking, swimming, rowing and hiking can help keep your knees and other joints healthy. If you don't move it, you may lose it.”
3. Check out knee pain.
Experiencing knee pain? By ignoring it, you run the risk of it getting worse. If you notice persistent pain, don’t brush it off—talk to your doctor.