LOSE WEIGHT, GET FIT, SAVE YOUR KNEES
It’s that time of the year when we’ve all over-indulged in Christmas dinners, sweet treats, nights out, and now we’re trying to convince ourselves that it’s our clothes that have shrunk - not that we may have put on a few pounds!
So we embark on a diet that, in typical New Year weight-loss resolution style, will probably only last a couple of weeks - but this year we’re here to tell you why you should make getting fitter and losing weight a more focused goal for 2016, and why it could probably save your knees and hips in years to come.
Let’s start with the fact that every 1 pound of bodyweight generates an extra 5 pounds of force on your knees!
We put a huge amount of mechanical stress on our knees every day, and although our knees are designed for that, even the way you stand, move, walk, and run can impact them
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and whilst it isn’t possible to prevent it altogether, there are things you can do to minimise your risk of developing it…
- Avoid exercises that put too much strain on your joints i.e. running and weight training.
- Try exercises such as swimming and cycling where your joints are better supported.
- Maintain good posture, and if you work at a desk ensure your chair is the correct height.
- Move frequently throughout the day, i.e. talk a walk from your desk a few times a day.
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise every week to build up your muscle strength.
- Lose weight - excess weight can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
Now you might think exercise would be one of the last thing’s you’d want to do to help joint pain in fear of making it worse, however your muscles help to support your joints, so having strong muscles means you’re more likely to help your joints stay strong too.
Make sure you talk to your doctor/consultant before embarking on any health or fitness programme though to ensure that you’re doing the correct exercises for you, as your needs and circumstances will vary over time.
If you’re not a fan of working out, (trust us, you’re not alone) then make sure that you do the following to help you when you’re starting out:
- Set realistic goals
- Do exercise that you enjoy
- Exercise regularly.
-Plan your exercise for the week in advance
It might take a couple of weeks, but you’ll soon find that it becomes part of your natural weekly routine.