The knees are the largest joints in the body which have a very important and crucial function. They provide support and stability to the legs, and also help in running, walking, standing, and jumping.
Knees get weaker with age, thus elder people often suffer from issues connected with knees. However, younger people may face such issues, regardless of the age.
Many factors may affect the knee condition and weaken them. Some of them are the following:
- Lack of nutrients
- Lack of exercise
- Wrong exercise
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excess sodium
Luckily, you can improve your knee condition and strengthen them by changing some dietary and lifestyle habits. Here’s a list of the 10 best ways to strengthen your knees and keep them healthy:
1. Anti-inflammatory Foods
You might experience pain or weakness of knees due to inflammation. Therefore, make sure to eliminate foods which abound with saturated fats and sugars, white rice, products made of white flour, and sodas. The following foods are the ones that you should include in your diet because of their anti-inflammatory properties: walnuts, spinach, ginger, turmeric, blueberries, avocados, tart cherries, olive oil, salmon, and sweet potatoes.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is beneficial for proper bone development and the quality of the bone matrix due to its role in collagen formation. Moreover, it can lower the risk of fractures and improve bone mass density.
Foods like broccoli, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, berries, lemons, papaya, strawberries, oranges, and kiwis should be included in your diet because they are rich in vitamin C.
3. Vitamin D
Lack of vitamin D can increase the risk minimal trauma fractures and bone loss, and reduce the absorption of calcium. The body produces vitamin D if exposed to the sun. Thus, make sure to stay 15 minutes a day in the sun.
Fish, egg yolks, cod liver oil, fortified cereals, and dairy products are all great sources of vitamin D.
Osteoporosis caused by weakening and thinning of bones may be a result of calcium deficiency in the body. The body does not produce calcium, and therefore you should take calcium supplements or consume food rich in this mineral.
Calcium is an ingredient of each of these foods: fortified orange juice, calcium-fortified cereals, sardines, edamame, blackstrap molasses, almonds, dark leafy greens, cheese and milk.
5. Fish Oil
The bone density and knee joint strength can be improved by consumption of fish oil. The reason is that it contains omega-3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
Fish oil is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent which can relieve joint pain and stiffness.
6. Epsom Salt
People, who suffer from osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis, or have weak knees, often have low levels of magnesium in their bodies. These conditions can be alleviated by Epsom salt consumption due to its abundance with magnesium. If you do so, proper muscle function is enabled, calcium absorption is enhanced, and knee joint inflammation is relieved.
By doing exercise the knee bones and the muscles around the knee will strengthen. The best exercises for improving the knee condition are the following: knee bends, lunges, straight-leg raises, squats with a Swiss ball, step-ups, single-leg squats, and hamstring stretches.
Also note that it is of great importance to do exercises four to five times a week, for at least 30 minutes.
Despite being a great overall fitness, swimming is also quite beneficial for alleviating knee pain and arthritis. It has the ability to strengthen the knee joint bones and muscles and relieve stiffness.
All swimming strokes, except breaststroke, are effective for knee condition. Furthermore, make sure to swim at least 30 minutes on a daily basis.
9. Healthy Body Weight
You might also suffer from weak knee joints if you have excess body weight because more pressure is applied on the knees, thus requiring more joint work. People who suffer from obesity have a bigger risk of knee or hip replacement. Therefore, it is essential to lose weight so that the knees can become stable and strong.
Last but no least, massage is very beneficial for treating knee pain and strengthening the knee area. It can also improve circulation if done regularly.
Massage your knees gently by using a mixture of mustard, olive, or coconut oil once a day for 15 minutes, or twice a day if needed. But, make sure you seek medical expertise if you suffer from chronic pain in the knee.