Monday, April 23, 2012

Exercise for Better Knees?

Richard wrote and asked if machine weight exercises can help his aching knees. "Dear Myachingknees, a friend of mine who is an avid gym rat told me that I could help ease the pain in my knees by doing several sets of knee extensions and hamstring contractions on a weight machine, using light weight an 16-20 repetitions per set. What is your experience with weight training to reduce knee pain?"

Richard, I believe weight training and other forms of exercise can help strengthen the muscles supporting and involved in the extension and contraction of joints. Exercise, be it weight training, swimming, biking or a hundred other forms can also aggravate your aching joints depending upon existing structural damage, health of the joints and their supporting cartilage and ligaments. I would first find out why your knees are hurting. Is it from an old or newer injury? Age, past use and stress placed on your knees and other joints can bring about general pain and arthritis or arthritis type symptoms.

If your body isn't getting the nutrients for cellular repair and health then I would tend to think that even the most benign form of exercise, walking, may increase your knee pain. It is a shame that people my age, mid 50's, and older think that knee and other joint pain, and eventual immobility, is inevitable. I am just a believer in maximizing the benefits of nutrition,….eating right and taking the best supplements, to ensure your cells and therefore your joints obtain the nutrients necessary for optimal joint health.

In any event, begin new exercise gradually, building your work load slowly and be aware that pain tells you something is wrong.

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