Joints feeling creaky lately? Feeling a little wince while climbing up the stairs or getting up from a chair? Don’t ignore knee pain, as this could be your body’s way of warning you that your connective tissue is under stress.
“But, it’s not as if I exert my body too much!”, you might say. That’s precisely the problem! Our bodies were built to stay dynamic and active. However, we spend too much of our days sitting on our butt at work, in cars, or on the sofa in front of the TV. Apart from regular physical activities and muscle strengthening activities like weight training, there are simple exercises one can do to prevent knee pain. These can also be performed by individuals who already suffer from knee pain or sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis to gain relief.
Stand in front of a step (about 2 feet tall). Step onto it, balance yourself for support, straighten your knees and then slowly step down. Do this for 2 minutes with each leg. As you gain more confidence, you can pump your arms simultaneously while doing this move. Step-up to the challenge!
2) Bent leg raises
This can be done from the comfort of your chair. In sitting position, raise one leg in the air and hold it for a minute. Then, bend your leg at the knee and bring your leg down about halfway and hold this position for 30 seconds. Perform 4 reps on each leg. Finish just in time for your afternoon coffee.
3)Straight leg raises
These take the bent leg raises to the next level. Sit in a chair, with your foot resting on another chair. Now, lift that foot a couple of inches off the chair without bending your leg at the knee. Hold this for 10 seconds. Go back to resting position and then repeat. Perform 10 reps on each leg, and try to increase your timing to up to 1 minute over the course of a week.
4) Wall slides
Disclaimer – best not to be performed at work to avoid strange glances. We kid!
So, find a wall. Stand with your back to it, with your back and palms flat against it. Lower yourself slowly, bending your knees and keep going till you are a few inches off the ground. Your knees should be approximately parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and get back to the start position. Perform 10 reps. In a week, you can move up to doing an advanced version, where you start in a position with your knees already bent and go lower. Ensure that your knees stay behind your toes as you perform this exercise.
Doing all these exercises will take less than 10 minutes of your day – that’s all it takes to give yourself one leg up over pain. Now, stop reading and get moving already!