Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Knee's and strawberries

I bought some Organic Strawberries and they are SO fragrant, I can smell them anywhere in my kitchen!! They are smaller than the non-organic ones and so flavorful. Brilliant red too. 

Yogurt, hemp granola, chia seed and strawberries! 

Last night, as I  ate my strawberries, I also iced both knee's as they were a bit sore even though it was a rest day. :( 

 I think I am having some residual aches from a derby injury-- a sprained MCL from last April. I went to PT, but now and again it acts up. ALSO, I think that my knee cap is still a little sore from my Half Marathon fall and finally, I know of at least one strength training move that has dropped from my routine: deadlifts. Deadlifts focus on the hamstrings which are very important muscles for runners! 

So, with all of that being said, I think those are three reasons I am experiencing some knee discomfort. When the muscles are the knee are weak or fatigued, it can leave your knee's open to more stress, more shock and less support. Strengthening the muscles that support the knee is the best way to avoid pain and injury and I can tell that this "core move" I pointed out yesterday will help since it is rockin' my hamstrings. 

You can be sure I will be icing, strengthening and modifying some of my regular moves so I can have happy knees. Here are my other tips--

How to have happy knee's 

Having flexible muscles: Foam rolling and stretching help to keep your muscles flexible. Flexible muscles are less prone to injury than tight or strained muscles. I just learned that you should Foam Roll before and after exercising for the best results! 

Balance: The basis for all good and safe activity--work on your balance! The stronger our overall stability and balance are the less stress other parts of our bodies will experience. There is a reason it's called core, it is our center, where our strength and movement come from. 

Strength all around: Strengthening the muscles around the knees can protect them. Gradually strengthen your muscles to assure that you stay injury free. Don't overload your muscles at first, but work your way up from using your body weight. Focus on: 
  • Quads 
  • Hamstrings
  • IT Band
  • Calf muscles
  • Hips (abductors located on the outer thigh, and the hip adductors on the inner thigh)
  • Glutes--ALL of which support the knee's! 

Keep them fluid: Fish oil, flax seed, Chia seeds and Glucosamine all help to keep our joints fluid and mobile. Chia seeds help build tissue and Glucosamine keep connective tissue elastic. Think of our knees and their tissue as old and new rubber bands, one moves more easily than the other and these supplements help keep things new! 

Modify your moves: There are certain moves that we do that can place unneeded stress on our knees if not done correctly, with too much weight or too far. You can ALWAYS modify your moves to make them more knee friendly. Drop weight and just use your body weight, adjust the range of motion of the move, come down into a half squat for example. Modify your moves till you strengthen your knees so they can perform! 

Keep the swelling down: I used to ice often and got away from it as my knee felt better post injury. Icing after your exercises will help to reduce inflammation and swelling that could occur right after your workout. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort that you have NOT had looked at, see your Dr. right away. I don't like using ibuprofen, but ginger and cinnamon are naturally anti-inflammatory.  

What have you done to strengthen your knees and prevent injury?

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