Keeping Your Knees Healthy
By: Leah Hollenberger
Copley recently hosted a seminar on Knee Health. A key piece of new information for several of the attendees was that exercise helps you build bone and maintain bone density. If you spend most of your time sitting down, your body gets the message that you aren’t using your bones, so your bones stop absorbing the calcium and minerals they need to become and stay strong. So to avoid problems with your knees, the best thing to do is to move more.
Here are some tips from the National Institutes of Health to help:
Think about all the movements you do every day: walking, climbing stairs, typing, turning doorknobs and lifting. Your bones, muscles, and joints all work together to make your body an amazingly movable machine. Like any machine, your body can suffer some wear and tear. It needs regular care and maintenance to keep moving with ease.
The main moving parts of your body include the solid bones, the joint tissues that link bones together, and the muscles that attach to your bones. Your body has about 200 bones and more than 600 muscles. These parts all work together to help you move throughout the day.
Muscle strengthening and proper joint alignment are important for just about anyone who wants to stay flexible and mobile. Exercises that improve your balance and strengthen your muscles can help to prevent falls.
Tips for Body Maintenance
- Maintain a healthy weight. A knee sees 3–5 times body weight with every step.
- Engage in muscle-strengthening (resistance) exercises. Activities that involve all your major muscle groups 2 or more times a week.
- Stay active all week long. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week, such as brisk walking.
- Wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Focus on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein.
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D daily to protect your bones.
- 80-1000 IU of Vitamin D daily
- 1,200 mg calcium daily for women age 51–70, and men and women age >70
- 1,000 mg calcium daily for men age 51–70
Copley’s Rehabilitation Services created a free downloadable guide to the best exercises you can do to keep your knees strong. See it online here.
Leah Hollenberger is the Vice President of Marketing, Development, and Community Relations for Copley Hospital. A former award-winning TV and Radio producer, she is the mother of two and lives in Morrisville. Her free time is spent volunteering, cooking, playing outdoors, and producing textile arts. Leah writes about community events, preventive care, and assorted ideas to help one make healthy choices.