Mental & physical wellness

The Neglect You’ll Regret

I don’t think many people realize how important it is to take care of your knees. In the past I’ve been one of those who took my knees for granted and overlooked how much I need them. After high school I noticed that my knees started to pop and I didn’t know why but still I pretty much ignored it, allowing the damage to get worse. I wasn’t aware that I’d allowed my knees to become weak due to lack of exercise and stretching. Now that I think about it I didn’t even give it much thought that you have to do more than walk to keep your knees healthy, strengthened and stable. They were getting me from point A to B without any major issues so I assumed that they were just fine. I’d become so wrapped up in my studies and working a full-time job that I completely neglected my physical health at one point. But as the popping of my knees became more frequent and now accompanied by pain I decided that enough was enough. I knew I had to start taking better care of my knees and regaining the strength in them if I wanted to continue using them without further issues. During my research I was surprised to find out that our knees are the largest joint in our bodies, and that they are surrounded by some of the most powerful muscles in your entire body.Β  By not working your knees out you are exposing them to the likelihood of injury and a long road of recovery. Our knees carry the weight of your upper body and have direct connects to the spine and hip bone, giving us an overall greater sense of balance. So the knees are definitely important and play a major part in our day to day lives, and I know that mean seem like common sense, and if we’re being completely honest it is. But the knees are often overlooked as muscles, making it easy to neglect them especially if no immediate issues or pain occurs. Our knees deserve the same attention, if not more as our stomachs, arms, calves, etc. when working out. With that being said here are 4 simple knee focused exercises to keep them healthy and strong. Be sure to do these exercises at least 2-4 times per week, and stretch before you proceed. Take care of your knees because the only time weak knees are okay is on your wedding day πŸ˜‰

1. Heel Raises- perfect for strengthening the muscles that will typically absorb shock before going to your knee joints, great for building resistance for future bending activities (do in sets of 10-20, fully stretch legs before engaging)

2. Wall Squats – builds knee strength, helps to stabilize surrounding muscles, back is supported by wall creating a greater focus to the directed area (position back against wall, hold for 25-45 seconds, repeat 7-10 times)

3. Glute Bridges- amazing for relieving knees of pressure, increases knee stability, strengthens glutes, hamstrings, and core (lift butt 4-6 inches from the ground, hold for 20-30 seconds, repeat 3-5 times)

4. Straight Leg Raises- strengthens the front muscles surrounding the knee joints, raises support from the bottom up, aides in mobility, lessens strain and reduces friction (start with leg higher and gradually bring down to where leg is just above ground, hold for 5-10 seconds, lower and repeat, repeat 10-20 times)

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