Running as a convenient form of cardio may be the bee's knees, but it can leave my knees aching. Although studies have found there is no connection between running and an increased risk for arthritis, here are some easy ways to show your knees some love.
- Stay flexible: Tight hamstrings or quads can prevent the knee from going through its full range of motion, which can negatively impact the soft tissues that work the knee. Hamstrings can get especially tight for runners, and here are five easy ways to lengthen the muscles in the back of your legs. Don't forget to stretch your quads post-run, as well as your calves. Tight calves can create knee pain so stretch the back of your lower legs as well.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Running can be considered a series of connecting hops, and the force of landing on your knees is considerable. Excess weight just increases the force of pressure your knees endure while running.
- Strength train: Keeping your legs strong can help prevent knee injuries. Strong quads and strong glute meds, the muscle on the side of the pelvis, can help prevent iliotibial band syndrome, which causes pain on the outside of the knee, so do this wall sit exercise.
- Cross train: Doing multiple forms of cardio is a great way to give your knee joints a nice break. Biking, swimming, Zumba, and running in water are great ways to mix up your cardio routine.