How to Keep Your Knees Healthy this Summer
Summer is finally here and with it comes all those wonderful outdoor activities you love best. After a year spent in quarantine due to Covid-19 your knees might be feeling a little tender. Remember your knee joints take a lot of abuse every time you stand, walk, run, jump or do just about anything active. Here are a few useful suggestions to ease your knees back into that active lifestyle that you love and crave.
Choose the Right Shoes
It is amazing how everything in the body is connected. Did you know that the type of shoes you wear really affects the impact every step you take has on your knees? During the summer it is so tempting to live in less clothing to combat the summer heat. This includes shoes. Everywhere you look people are in their sandals and flip flops, but strongly urge against this for the sake of your knee health. Your knees need well fitted shoes with good support and padding.
If you’re planning on a trip to the beach that’s one thing, but if you’re out for a full day at the zoo or shopping you may want to opt in for the knee-friendly shoes. Fashion can wait so you can save your knees for another day. Also, make sure that the hiking or running shoes you have are a good fit for your feet. Continuous impact activities require you to use the right shoes to keep from getting injured. Shoes that are too small, too big, or have worn out padding could be causing more harm than you realize.
Stretch Your Legs
It doesn’t take more than 3 to 5 minutes to give your knees, shins and calves a little stretch before getting started with your day. Stretching is a wonderful preventative health measure that you can take the moment you roll out of bed. By doing this you’ll decrease the chances of twisting your ankle as you head into the back yard to play fetch with the dog or run around with the kids.
Build Up to Being Active
If you’re hoping to get back into a rigorous summer life, then please allow your body to build up to your most exciting activities. There is nothing wrong with starting small. If you’ve been sitting around this winter riding out the pandemic, start with walks or easier hikes before you start up your nearest mountain. This will make it so you can make the most out of your entire summer, instead of spending half of it nursing a knee injury that could have been avoided with proper endurance preparations.
The summer is also a fabulous time to get into shape. If you have a few extra pounds that you’ve been carrying around with you, now is a great time to work on that. Your knees are the first line of defense as your weight begins to hit the ground. Extra weight on your frame causes harmful pressure that can result in knee pain. Find a few simple exercises that work for you and begin building them into your daily routine.
Enjoy the warm weather and the fun summer activities you have planned. Just remember to take proper care of yourself so you can continue enjoying the sunny fun all season long!