Physical activity and exercise are beneficial to your health, and it would help to include them in your daily routine.
As we age, natural wear and tear can lead your joints to become inflamed and uncomfortable, which has been related to an increased risk of falls. Year after year, chronic discomfort and inflammation can wear down the cartilage as the bones get thinner, making the knees more susceptible to cartilage tears, osteoarthritis, and other knee pain issues.
If that sounds like an experience you’d prefer to avoid, stay reading for eight easy exercises that will strengthen your knees while also maintaining your balance:
1. Seated Knee Extension
This exercise is a great warm-up and promotes a joint range of motion and flexibility.
How do I do it? Sit in a chair, bend your knees, and set your feet on the ground in front of you to perform this exercise. Contract your thigh muscle and lift your right leg off the ground. Return to the starting position after five seconds. On each side, repeat 10 times.
2. Squats with a Chair
This exercise is beneficial for strengthening balance, leg endurance, and knee range of motion.
How do I do it? Put a chair behind you, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the back of the chair for balance. Keeping your heels on the ground, lower yourself down slowly by bending at your knees until the tops of your thighs are about parallel to the floor. Touch the chair lightly with your bottom and hold for five seconds and slowly rise up by straightening your knees. Repeat 10 times.
3. Hamstring Curls Standing
The hamstrings are strengthened with this workout, which can help avoid lower back discomfort. If you have shoulder, knee, or other joint ailments, you may opt to skip this workout.
How do I do it? To do this exercise, use a sturdy chair or countertop for balance. Keep your upper body straight, and try not to swing your body. Keep your upper leg in one spot and don’t move your hip. Bend at your knee and bring your foot towards your bottom. Come back down slowly. Repeat 10 times on each side.
4. Hamstring Curl
This is another simple approach to stretch your hamstrings.
How do I do it? Lie on your stomach with both legs straight out behind you. Bending at your knee, bring your foot towards your bottom. Slowly lower your foot back down. Repeat 10 times on each side.
5. Quad Sets
The quadriceps are the major muscles at the front of your thighs that aid in knee extension. Quadriceps workouts assist to develop these muscles and keep them from being injured due to repetitive tension.
How do I do it? Sit with your leg straight out in front of you to perform this exercise. Under your knee, place a rolled-up towel. Push your knee into the towel and keep it there. Hold for five seconds before letting go. Rep 10 times more.
6. Quad Stretch in Tall Kneeling
This exercise will stretch out your quadriceps and increase flexibility in your knees.
How do I do it? Start in tall kneeling with both knees on the ground. You can use a pillow under your knees for protection if you would like. Keep the knee of the side you want to stretch on the ground. Bring the other leg forward putting your foot on the ground in a lunge position. Keeping your back straight and upright, bring up your back foot and grab it with your hand. Pull your foot towards your buttocks for more of a stretch. Repeat this exercise 10 times on each side.
7. Hamstring Sets
This exercise is great for improving flexibility in your lower leg, especially around your knee.
How do I do it? Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend the knee up that you want to exercise. Push your heel down to the floor contracting your hamstrings and holding. Repeat 10 times on each side.
8. Straight Leg Raise
This exercise is a great way to strengthen the lower body and help improve the flexibility of the hip, knee, and ankle joints.
How do I do it? To do this exercise, lie down on your back and bend one leg up. Straighten out the leg you want to exercise. Pull your toes towards you to lock out your knee. Keeping your knee straight, lift the leg to the height of the other, and slowly come back down. Repeat with your other leg.
Practising these exercises will have an effect not just on your knees but on your full body as well. Physical activities, when done in moderation, can also improve your mental health as it relieves stress.
But remember, you may still give yourself limits when doing exercises. Working out is not just about breaking a sweat to be more active.
What matters is you make the decision to move more each day in whichever capacity suits you.