5 Exercise Tips to Keep Your Knees From Wearing Out

Elderly man with knee pain.

The knee joint, one of the largest joints in the human body, is responsible for a considerable amount of weight every day. (Image: Satjawat Boontanataweepol via Dreamstime)

The knee joint, one of the largest joints in the human body, is responsible for a considerable amount of weight every day. You may not be aware that when you squat or kneel, your knees are under eight times more pressure than your body weight!

The load on your knees is not always the same

When lying down, your knees carry almost no weight; when standing and walking, they carry 1 to 2 times their body weight; when walking up and down hills or stairs, 3 to 4 times their body weight; when running, four times their body weight; and when squatting and kneeling, eight times their body weight.

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If you weigh 80 kilograms, you are putting 320 kilograms of pressure on your knees every step you take and 640 kilograms when squatting. As this accumulates over time, the knee joint will, of course, wear out.

To protect your knees, you must first train your thigh muscles. Stronger thigh muscles indirectly reduce the pressure between the patella (the most prominent part of the front of the knee) and the femur, reducing wear and tear and delaying aging of the knee. Moderate exercise also increases synovial fluid in the knee joint, keeping the joint cavity moist and reducing cartilage wear.

To protect your knees, you must first train your thigh muscles.
To protect your knees, you must first train your thigh muscles. (Image: Sarayuth Punnasuriyaporn via Dreamstime)

Knee maintence tips

1. Sitting leg kicks

Choose a chair with a backrest and grip the edge of the chair with both hands. Bring your thighs together and stretch your legs forward in front of you. Slow down and maintain the speed for a few seconds at the highest point. Return both lower legs and feet to their original position and repeat several times.

The suggested number of times is 8 to 12, doing 1 to 2 sets at a time. You can increase the number of sets once you become familiar with the exercise.

2. Shake your calves

Hold the wall or a table with one hand first, swing the leg forward with the toes pointing upward so that the calf muscle is flexed. Next, draw the leg backward as far as it can go. Finally, swing your leg forward again between 80 and 100 times. This method can prevent lower limb atrophy, weakness or numbness, calf cramps, and other diseases.

3. Rub the soles of the feet

Rub the palms of both hands together so they become hot, then rub the soles of the feet 100 times each. This method has the effect of lowering false fire, soothing the liver, and brightening the eyes, and can prevent hypertension, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia, and other diseases.

4. Warm up your feet

Having warm feet means keeping your feet warm regularly. Every night, use hot water to soak your feet, which can help the blood flow around the whole body.

  • Foot soaking time: 1 to 2 hours after eating.
  • Foot soaking temperature: best water temperature is 40°C.
  • Foot soaking water level: have water up to the top of the ankle or lower calf.
  • Frequency of foot soaking: 2-3 days per week, no more than 20 minutes at a time.

After soaking, the pores of the feet are open, so it is recommended that you dry your feet and put on socks as quickly as possible to avoid getting cold.

Scale with a measuring tape and an apple.
Maintaining a standard weight and not being overweight will also reduce the burden on your knees. (Image: via Pixabay)

A healthy body and lifestyle are key

Maintaining a standard weight and not being overweight will also reduce the burden on your knees. If you have already gained weight, you can choose exercises such as slow walking, swimming, and cycling to reduce the weight on your knees and help you lose weight, while avoiding activities such as stair climbing and mountain climbing.

The development of osteoarthritis can be slowed down. There are many forms of exercise such as swimming, walking, and tai chi. Not only do these exercises work almost all parts of the body, but they also train the heart and lungs without causing joint damage.

If you already feel discomfort in your knees, it is essential to carry less and lift lighter objects. Only when your legs are well and strong can your health be guaranteed.

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