As our days get longer, the weather gets warmer, and the flowers begin to bloom – spring is in the air and when many people emerge from somewhat of a winter hibernation period. Whether from tackling a spring-cleaning project around the house, gardening, or heading outdoors and exercising – this is also a time of year when stubborn knee pain and injuries can occur. However, keeping your springtime activities knee injury-free is possible by following a few helpful and simple tips.
Spring cleaning is a great way to get your home in order, but it can also be a time of injury if you're not careful. Knee injuries are prevalent when people lift heavy objects, engage in strenuous activity for several hours without taking a break, or kneel for extended periods (while scrubbing a floor, for example).
Avoid knee-injury mishaps while spring cleaning by:
- Warming up before you start. It might sound silly, but spring cleaning is a strenuous workout. Treat it like any other exercise activity by warming up and stretching before you begin.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Shoes with good support will help to protect you from slipping and falling while safeguarding your knees against unnecessary strain.
- Take breaks often. Don't try to clean everything on your list in one day. Take breaks every 20-30 minutes to stretch and rest.
- Lift with your legs, not your back. When lifting heavy objects, bend your knees and use your legs to lift. Avoid lifting with your back, as this can strain your knees.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If you're cleaning on a slippery or uneven surface, avoid slipping and falling.
- If you feel pain, stop and rest. Don't push yourself too hard. If you feel pain, stop and rest.
Gardening is a beloved springtime activity for many. But, it can also be a source of knee injuries from all of the kneeling, bending, and twisting of the body that is involved.
Keep gardening knee injuries at bay with these tips:
- Use a kneeling pad or bench. This will help reduce the strain on your knees when you're kneeling.
- Stretch your hamstrings and quadriceps regularly. This will help to keep your muscles loose and flexible.
- Avoid gardening on hard surfaces. If possible, garden on soft surfaces like grass or mulch.
With some preparation, you can protect your knees as you take your workout routine outdoors for the first time in months. Whether you're hiking, swimming, running, or cycling, there is plenty you can do to keep your knees safe, healthy, and strong.
- Avoid sudden changes in direction. This can put strain on your knees.
- Be careful when running on uneven surfaces, which can put stress on your knees, and may also put you at risk of falling.
- Take breaks when you need them. Don't try to do too much too soon when first heading outdoors for exercise.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep your knee joints well lubricated and to avoid muscle cramps.
The milder months of spring are a great time to thaw out those frozen knees! Armed with some preparation and solid injury prevention strategies, this will be a season your knees and your entire body can happily participate in.