Skip to main content

7 Habits to Keep Your Knees Strong and Healthy as You Age

7 Habits to Keep Your Knees Strong and Healthy as You Age

As you age, the years on your lower body begin to add up. Your knees especially are vulnerable — they’re the largest joint in your body, and they have to fight the effects of your entire body weight and gravity pushing down on them with every step.

Knee pain, stiffness, and weakness are common as people age. These symptoms can be due to general wear and tear, a chronic condition such as osteoarthritis, or an injury such as a torn meniscus.

Here at Steven E. Nolan, MD, we specialize in knee arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgery using an arthroscope to diagnose and treat whatever problem is causing your knee pain. 

We’ve seen some knees in pretty bad shape over the years, so we’re thrilled when we see a patient whose knees are still in great shape. Here are seven everyday habits in these patients that will keep your knees strong and healthy as you age.

1. Strengthen the leg muscles that support your knees

You might not immediately think of this, but the muscles around your knee are vital to maintaining its integrity. Keeping your quad and hamstring muscles strong (front and back of your thigh) especially helps improve your knee’s range of motion, protects your cartilage, and reduces the stress on your knee.

2. Maintain your recommended weight

Carrying extra weight on your body dramatically increases the stress and pressure on your knees. When you walk across level ground, the force on your knees equals 1.5 times your body weight. Reducing your weight by even 10-15 pounds can significantly affect the amount of force put on your knees, giving them a longer, stronger period of functioning well.

3. Stretch your muscles

Warming up and stretching your muscles before activity increases your flexibility, range of motion, and blood flow to your knee while decreasing your risk of injuring or straining your knee.

4. Stay active, but choose low-impact exercises

Staying physically active is essential to your knees and overall health, but you should opt for low-impact activities as the years wear on. Swimming, cycling, and brisk walking improve your knee strength and reduce your risk of injury compared to high-impact activities such as running or many sports. 

5. Focus on form and footwear

If lifting weights or participating in a sport, ensure your form is correct. Performing lifts incorrectly or moving awkwardly during sports can lead to injuries, so talk to a coach to ensure your technique is correct. Also, wear shoes that provide proper support and cushioning to reduce the stress on your knees.

6. Listen to your knees

If your knees start hurting, they’re telling you something isn’t right. Don’t push through the pain to be tough — this can worsen the problem. Listen to what your body is saying, take a break, and talk to your doctor if the pain persists.

7. Stay hydrated

Good hydration plays a vital role in the health of your knees as well. Drinking the appropriate amount of water for your age and health will help lubricate the cartilage in your knees, which reduces friction and increases the smoothness of your knee movements.

If you’re experiencing knee issues, our team at Steven E. Nolan, MD, is ready to diagnose and treat your problem. Call our Sugar Land, Texas, office at 281-720-6909 or use our online scheduler to book your appointment anytime.

You Might Also Enjoy...