Did you know that the largest joints in the human body are the knees? They provide support, stability, and flexibilityin our legs so that we can stand, walk, run, crouch, jump, and turn around easily. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to keep these large joints in our body healthyandstrong.
Although usually the older people have knee problems because their knees weaken with age, people at practically any age can also experience problems with their knees. The weak knees influence one’s mobility, and impede his/her daily activities, such as walking downhill or lifting boxes. However, there are different reasons that might lead to weak knees. Some of them are astrain or injury on the knees, excess sodium intake, nutritional deficiency, a sedentary lifestyle, drinking, smoking, or as a result of osteoarthritis in the knee. Knee osteoarthritis might result from tear and wear on its parts.
In case you are suffering from knee pain or weak knees, you could strengthen them with the help of some dietary and lifestyle changes.
The following are the best 10 ways to strengthen the knees.
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Exercises for Knee Strengthening
There are numerous exercises that could improve the condition of the weak knees, by strengthening the muscles around them, keeping your joints properly positioned and aligned, and also strengthening the bones in the knees. Such exercises include step-ups, lunges, hamstring stretches with thigh contraction, knee bends and squats with a Swiss ball, single-leg squats, and straight-leg raises.
Try to learn the knee exercises from some expert, and do them30 minutes a day, at least 4-5 times per week. However, in case you notice your knee stiffness or pain increases with these exercises, you have to stop doing them and visit your doctor in order to see which ones are suitable for your condition.
Another effective way for strengthening your knees and address the knee pain is a massage therapy. You are going to make your muscles and joints stronger as regular massage is going to enhance the circulation, providing them with more nutrients.
Use warm olive, mustard, or coconut oil to rub the knees with gentle and firm movements. Massage in both counter-clockwise and clockwise movements for around 10-15 minutes. Repeat two times a day when needed. Consult some experienced massage therapist if you have chronic knee pain.
It’s known that people with weak knees, or persons who have knee pain as a result of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis, usually have very low magnesium levels. Therefore, the Epsom salt which is rich in magnesium is highly recommended for decreasing the unpleasant feeling. This salt is able to quickly lower the inflammation around the knee joints. In addition, magnesium is also essential for proper functioning of muscles as it will help the absorption of calcium.
In half a cup of warm water, you need to dissolve two tablespoons of Epsom salt. Apply the solution on the knees with a washcloth, and leave it to act for 15-20 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water. You should do this once or twice a week. Another alternative way is to prepare a warm Epsom salt bath with a cup of Epsom salt, and to soak the body for about 20 minutes. Enjoy this bath once or twice a week.
Those people who suffer from knee pain or arthritis could benefit from the well-known low-impact aerobic exercise swimming. Besides improving the overall fitness, swimming might also strengthen the surrounding muscles of the knee joints, lower the knee stiffness, and strengthen your bones.
Try to swim around half an hour a day, 5 days a week. Swimming strokes beneficial for knee joints are butterfly stroke, front crawl, andbackstroke. Make sure to avoid breaststroke, as it puts a lot of pressure on the knee joints.
The bones require calcium for their optimal health, so lack of calcium might result in weakening and thinning of the bones, leading to osteoporosis. As the human’s body is not able to produce calcium naturally, the best optionfor preventing calcium deficiency is through dietary sources and supplements.
You could obtain calcium from natural ingredients such ascalcium-fortified cereals, dark leafy greens, almonds, cheese, milk, edamame, sardines, blackstrap molasses, and fortified orange juice. If you go with calcium supplements, you should go with one that also includes vitamin D so as to help the calcium absorption in the body. Consult a doctor for the proper dosage.
This vitamin is regarded as a threshold nutrient for the optimal joint and bone health. Lack of vitamin D might lead to bone loss and raised risk of minimal trauma fractures. What’s even more, our body cannot absorb sufficient calcium amount without the proper amounts of this vitamin.
As the human’s body produces vitamin D in the sunlight exposure, it’s recommended to expose your knees to sunlight early in the morning, for around 15 minutes a day. Another way to get this vitamin is to consume egg yolks, fortified cereals, cod fish, liver oil, and dairy products. In case you decide to go with supplement, consult a doctor.
The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that arecontained in fish oil could help improve the bone density and strengthen the knee joints. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it could even lower the stiffnessandjoint pain.
The International Journal of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience published a study in2006 that says that the people who took EPA from fish oil in amount of 1,200 milligrams every day, noticed improved joint health. Consume cold-water fish such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon two times a week.
Another option is to consume up to 6 grams of fish oil, twicea day (make sure it’s at least 30% DHA/EPA). Consult a doctor before you start taking any supplement.
This vitamin is essential for the formation of one of the main components of the knee cartilage – collagen. It is very important for the quality of synthesis of collagen, bone matrix, and normal development of bones. Vitamin C improves the mass density of the bones, and decreases the risk of fractures.
Good dietary sources of vitamin C are lemon, bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, strawberries, papaya, berries, spinach, cauliflower, kiwi, and Brussels sprouts. Consult a doctor before taking supplements in the form of capsulesandchewable tablets.
Overweight people put a lot more pressure on their knees as a result of their heavy weight. This increases the work of their knee joints, and makes weaktheir knees. Moreover, obesity raises the risk of the hip or knee replacement.
Overweight people have to try to lose weight in a healthy way, for numerous health reasons, one of which is improving stability and the strength of their knees.
Inflammation could cause weak and painful knees, so in order to fight this condition you need to consume more anti-inflammatory foods. Some of them are salmon, flaxseeds, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, avocados, blueberries, tart cherries, spinach, walnuts, and sweet potatoes.
Also, make sure to omit inflammatory foods like white rice, soda, white-flour products, sugary foods, and foods rich in saturated fats.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes
- Enjoy cycling and walking to strengthen the knees
- Avoid consuming too much salt, as it can lead to loss of calcium
- Don’t do the activities that increase the knee pain
- Quit drinkingand smoking
- Increase the consumption of fluids to soften the cartilage
- Learn yoga poses recommended for this condition
- Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for a very long period
- Don’t practice sports that involve sudden jumping, twisting,stoppingandstarting.