Today we will explain for once and for all how to take care of your knees after 40. After reading this article, you’ll be well-informed on how to keep those knees as healthy as possible.
First of all, knees are not designed to last forever. They wear down over time and eventually fail. As we age, our knees will weaken until they finally give way. There are many reasons why your knees may begin to hurt. These include arthritis, injury, poor posture, lack of exercise, and genetics. But regardless of the cause, knee pain is never fun.
If you’ve had knee problems for any time, you probably already know how painful it can be. Most people suffering from chronic knee pain have surgery to fix the problem. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work. I will share some simple things you can do daily to reduce knee pain and prevent future injuries. And since they’re simple, anyone can do them.
So if you want to know how to take care of your knees after 40 the best way possible, keep reading.
How to Take Care of Your Knees After 40
To take care of your knees when you’re over 40, you should always warm up before exercising, practice low-knee-impact sports, eat healthily, and try to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
10 Ways How to Take Care of Your Knees After 40
Let’s now dive into the 10 best things we can do to keep our knees healthy. Some are more important than others, but we can combine the following ten ways we take better care of our knees than the average Joe.
1. Try supplements
Your grandmother probably told you she took cod liver oil daily because it helped her arthritis. But did she know what she was talking about? It might seem she wasn’t too far off.
A group of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, studied the effects of daily supplementation with 1,000 mg of cod liver oil capsules on patients with knee osteoarthritis.
They found that 86% of the participants experienced a reduction in harmful enzymes that damage cartilaginous tissue, called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). These enzymes are responsible for breaking down connective tissues such as cartilage.
The study also showed that those individuals who received the highest dose of cod liver oil experienced the most significant reductions in MMP levels. This finding suggests high quantities of cod liver oil could help keep cartilage healthy.
2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation can damage your bones and joints (including the knees), and your daily dietary choices significantly affect how much inflammation you experience, especially as you age.
Processed foods, often filled with processed sugars and unhealthy fats, are a significant source of inflammation. Meat, dairy, and eggs are inflammatory because they contain saturated fat, cholesterol, and hormones.
Try an anti-inflammatory diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, beans, grains, fish, a little poultry, and eight glasses of water per day. Some foods that are particularly good for reducing inflammation include onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, chives, scallions, and celery.
Pomegranate juice contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that fight free radicals and decrease inflammation. One study found that drinking one glass of pomegranate per day decreased inflammation by 18% and reduced knee pain by more than 60%.
3. Always warm up and cool down
When it comes to exercising, there are many ways to do it. But most people don’t realize that whether you’re working out at home or the gym, you should always start with a proper warm-up and end with a cool-down.
Warm-ups are designed to prepare your body for physical activity. They include stretches, light cardio like walking or jogging, and simple calisthenics such as jumping rope or doing push-ups.
Cool-downs are used to help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness after exercise. They involve gentle aerobic activities, such as slow walks or low-impact aerobics.
4. Wear proper shoes
Did you know that your foot size may increase as you get older? Make sure your shoes don’t pinch your toes, and check that you have enough room across the top.
And no! Those All-Stars are not for running!
5. Maintain a healthy body weight
Every time you stand and walk — even just walking upstairs — you place enormous amounts of strain on your joints, especially on your knees. Your body uses energy while standing still to keep your muscles strong enough to support your bones and ligaments, and those forces are transferred to your joints.
As you move, your joints absorb some of that force, but over time, the constant wear and tear causes cartilage, the cushioning material inside your joints, to break down.
If you think about how much walking you do daily, it’s not hard to understand why your knees wear out if you’re overweight. Weight loss can play an essential role in preserving your knees.
6. Strengthen the muscles that support your knees.
Strengthening your thighs — especially the quads, hamstrings, and adductors — will improve your range of motion, protect your knee cartilage, and reduce the stress you put on your knees. Start doing hamstring and quad exercises regularly.
Ensure that your knees stay above your feet and don’t extend in front of your toes. After age 40, avoid squatting below a 90-degree angle (with your hips dropping below your knees) because deep squats increase pressure on the knees.
If you prefer weight machines, opt for the leg press, hamstring curl, knee extension, and outer-thigh (abductor) machines.
7- Work on your posture
After 40, we can develop bad posture. We may start slouching or stooping more than when we were younger.
Bad posture can put extra pressure on your knees and hip joints, so focus on standing tall with a straight back, keeping your shoulders directly over your hip joints, and having your hips aligned with your knee joints and your knees directly under your feet.
Exercises like Face Pulls and activities like yoga can work wonders in correcting bad posture.
If you take regular walks, you strengthen the muscles in your legs; you will lose weight and rebuild your joints—important things to keep your knees healthy, especially as we age.
9- Introduce more low-impact exercises to your fitness routine
Try to avoid sports like soccer or basketball. Be careful with HIIT training. These sports and training stress the knees.
Practicing sports like swimming or cycling will protect the cartilage in your knees and avoid injuries.
10- Check with a specialist or doctor
If you have knee pain, you should see a doctor right away. Knee injuries can be severe, but most cases aren’t too bad. They usually heal quickly. Just take it easy until you feel better.
And remember: if you hurt your knee playing sports, ice it immediately after the injury occurs. This will reduce swelling and minimize damage to the joint. Then go and see your doctor to verify the problem.
How Your Age Affects Your Joints
We have 360 joints in our bodies responsible for everything we do—walking, running, lifting, jumping, bending down, and even sitting. They allow us to move around freely, but they’re also prone to injury.
When one of those joints becomes damaged, it often leads to stiffness and pain. And while most people think about arthritis when they hear “joint,” there are many different types of arthritis.
One of the biggest joints in our bodies is the knee. This hinge-like joint allows us to bend and straighten our legs, opening and closing like a door. A healthy knee is essential for good health because it helps support the rest of the body, especially the lower back.
As we grow older, however, our knees begin to wear out, making them stiffer and less mobile.
In addition to being a weight-bearing joint, the knee is also a critical part of motion. If you want to stand up, lift something heavy off the ground, squat down, kneel, or perform any number of activities, your knee needs to work correctly.
Unfortunately, our knees start wearing out as we age, which might lead to osteoarthritis.
What is knee cartilage, and why is it important?
Knee cartilage is the rubbery end of the knee bones that prevent friction between the knee joints. Diminished knee cartilage can cause the bony knee joints touching which causes swelling and pain.
Which gym exercise is the worst for my knees?
The 2 exercises in the gym that cause most knee injuries are bad-performed squats and HIIT workouts. I say bad-performed squads because it can benefit knee health if you squad correctly.
It’s important to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating right and exercising regularly will help reduce the chances of developing chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. By improving your diet and fitness routine, you’ll be able to live longer and happier than ever!
If you experience knee pain, it may be due to injury, arthritis, or old age. But whatever the cause, it’s essential to pay attention to it.
I quit playing soccer at a relatively young age because I didn’t want to take the risk of knee injuries. Playing soccer involves many sudden and unexpected knee joint movements that I wanted to avoid. I just listened to my body and decided it was time for me to find sports and exercises with less risk.
If you follow at least some of the 10 tips I described in this article, you’ll be well on your way to taking good care of your knees and preventing further damage.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please leave them in the comment section below.