|Consider Joint Health During Summer Activities|
Consider Joint Health During Summer Activities
Louisville, Ky. (June 11, 2014)— As the weather warms up, adults and children alike are flocking to the outdoors to engage in the activities of summer. KentuckyOne Health reminds area residents to take advantage of opportunities to boost bone and joint health.
“Summer is a great time to begin an outdoor exercise program,” said Paul McKee, M.D., primary care sports medicine physician, KentuckyOne Health Orthopedic Associates. “Exercise, including resistance training, is important to improve or maintain bone and joint health. It increases bone density, muscle strength, coordination and balance.”
One of the most significant stressors on the joints is weight. Being overweight drastically increases the stress on the knees and other joints, which can make exercise taxing. Losing even a modest amount of weight—15-20 pounds—makes an immediate impact on joint health and significantly reduce joint pain. Every pound lost reduces the pressure on the knees by four pounds.
If joint pain is an issue, opt for non-traumatic partial weight-baring activities such as biking, swimming or using an elliptical. Weight training can help build muscle mass, which will in turn help keep joints supported. In addition, increasing muscle tone provides better balance and control of joint and muscle pain. Lean muscle mass burns more energy at rest and therefore helps maintain weight.
“Swimming or aquatic aerobics are great summer activities because they are not only fun and cooling during the hot summer days, but it’s also a full-body, low impact, activity that provides resistance without causing wear and tear on your joints,” said McKee.
For active individuals, proper equipment is necessary to prevent joint damage. Those who participate in an intense outdoor running program should have their running shoes fitted to them by a professional. Shoes should be changed every 200-300 miles to be sure they aren’t getting worn out. For avid runners, good core strength—in the lower back and abdominal area are very important. Gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, part of the pelvic muscles are important to protect from tendonitis and knee, foot and ankle pain.
For individuals with osteoarthritis, (the most common form of arthritis that occurs when cartilage in joints break down) maintaining good muscle tone is recommended. Keeping a good range of motion can also help reduce pain and prevent further deterioration in the joint.
For optimal bone and joint health, a daily workout routine of 60 minutes, resistance training to maintain bone density, exercise to maintain cardio fitness, and the development of lean muscle mass to maintain balance are suggested.
If you have osteoarthritis or joint pain, be sure to consult your physician before beginning a new workout regimen.
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Bone/Joint Health Fact Sheet