The knee is the largest joint of the human body. Its main function is to provide stable support to both the lower and upper extremities. Apart from structural support, the knees allow for flexibility and reinforce stability in the legs so you can do basic movements such as standing, running, walking, jumping, and turning around with relative ease. With all the important functions of this joint, it becomes imperative to keep them healthy and strong at all times.
Our knees grow weak as we age. Although the older population is more prone to knee-related problems, men and women of any age can experience knee problems too. When the knees fall week, our general mobility is seriously affected. It becomes hard for us to carry our normal activities with weak or injured knees.
Weakness may be caused by a lot of things. Injury, straining, nutritional deficiency, and sedentary lifestyle are identified as culprits of weak knees. Lifestyle habits such as excessive sodium intake via diet, tobacco smoking, and drinking alcohol may also contribute to the deterioration of the knees.
In order for your knees to remain healthy and strong, here are some tips worth remembering:
- Knee-strengthening routines
Exercise movements that target weak knees have the following benefits:
- strengthen knee muscles and joints
- proper alignment of joints
- improve the strength quality of the knees
Routines that are known to be good for the knees are the following:
- straight leg raises
- knee bends
- single-leg squats
- hamstring stretches with knee contraction
- squats with Swiss ball reinforcements
To ensure that the knees grow progressively stronger, knee exercises should be done for at least 30 minutes, four to five times a week.
If any of the exercise movements cause pain, discomfort, or stiffness it is best to stop and consult your doctor. They may recommend modifications to the routines so you can avoid injuries.
- Increase calcium intake
Calcium is an essential mineral as it promotes bone health. The shortage of calcium in our system can result in weakening of the bones and osteoporosis especially among women. As the body is unable to produce calcium by itself, we need to source calcium from food and supplements.
Here are natural sources of calcium.
- Dark leafy green veggies
- Orange juice
- Blackstrap molasses
If you are not fond of the food items listed above, you should try calcium supplements instead. When choosing between supplements, make sure to opt for a product that is fortified with Vitamin D. This nutrient increases the rate of absorption of calcium in the bloodstream.
- Vitamin D supplementation
Vitamin D is identified as a threshold nutrient. This means that the presence of Vitamin D together with calcium further increases the latter’s potency and efficiency in inducing bone growth and development. Lack of Vitamin D often leads to bone loss and increased risk for injury or trauma.
- The only way that the body can produce sufficient levels of Vitamin D is when it is exposed to direct sunlight. Ideally, one should bask in the morning sunlight for 15 minutes daily.
- In addition exposure to sunlight, you need to get Vitamin D from food including egg yolks, and cereals. You may also choose to take Vitamin D supplements.
- Epsom Salt
People who suffer from weak knees and constant knee pain as a result of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis exhibit low levels of magnesium in the bloodstream. Experts recommend the use of Epsom salt in such cases.
Epsom salt is high in magnesium and delivers immediate relief from pain and reduces the inflammation on knee joints. Magnesium is also essential for proper muscle functioning and increases calcium absorption.
Do not ingest the Epsom salt, but instead do these things:
- Combine 2 tbsps of Epsom salt with 1.5 cups of water. Using a washcloth, apply the mixture on weak knees for 20 minutes. Rinse well after with lukewarm water.
- Soak the entire body in a tub full of water with 1 cup of Epsom salt for at least 15 minutes.
These routines should be done at least once or twice a week.