As Asians, sitting on the ground with legs folded comes naturally to us.
We additionally have a tendency to love the complete (deep) squat place. In nations comparable to India and China, folks – even the aged – use it to have conversations, eat, wash garments, take pictures and do a complete lot of issues.
Final week, I used to be travelling alongside the east-west freeway and stopped at one of many relaxation areas as my seven-year-old niece needed to make use of the bathroom.
There have been loads of sitting bogs obtainable, however the majority of travellers, younger and outdated, had been ready in line to make use of the squatting ones.
Whether or not it’s a desire or they discover it extra handy, one factor for certain is that their knees are fairly robust.
My niece, then again, doesn’t know methods to use this kind of rest room and refuses to study as a result of she thinks it’s unhygienic.
My former colleague, who was born and raised abroad for many of her life, couldn’t fathom the fascination Malaysians have for squatting bogs.
She used it as soon as as a result of the place she was at had no sitting bogs.
Her knees buckled whereas she was peeing and with no railing help to drag herself up, she (fortunately) fell backwards and never inside!
The style by which she described the episode would make a superb script for a comedy scene.
In actuality, she simply has weak joints and muscle groups from restricted train.
Have you ever ever skilled this: You’ll be able to sit on the ground with legs folded, however whenever you unfold them, there’s a little bit of stiffness on the knee joint?
Typically, it could take just a few seconds/minutes of straightening the knees earlier than you possibly can rise up and stroll comfortably once more.
When you’ve got, don’t despair – that’s an indication of ageing, however you are able to do one thing about it.
Ouch, my knee hurts!
As we age, because of the put on and tear of repeated movement, damage or illness, knee ache turns into a typical criticism amongst older adults – though these days, with the dearth of motion, knee ache can be rampant amongst younger folks.
A robust and wholesome knee capabilities like a well-greased machine, permitting the human physique to carry out high-intensity actions like leaping, mountaineering and climbing, amongst others, with out ache.
Nevertheless, most individuals will expertise some type of knee ache of their lives and plenty of will discover it debilitating.
Typically, it’s attributable to osteoarthritis (the sporting away of knee cartilage), which results in lack of perform and joint weak point.
The knees take up an enormous quantity of stress with each step you are taking each day. For those who’re obese, the stress is elevated.
Over time, the muscle groups and ligaments surrounding the knee joint get weaker and the pads of cartilage known as menisci that act as shock absorbers, begin to deteriorate.
When the cartilage wears off, the bones rub towards one another and you find yourself with ache, stiffness and swelling.
At this stage, there may be nothing a lot you are able to do to salvage your knees besides to go for knee substitute surgical procedure.
Earlier than the cartilage wears off utterly although, you possibly can take management by taking a well-rounded strategy to guard your knees, which incorporates strength-building, steadiness work and elevated performance via flexibility.
Strengthening the muscle groups that help your knee will scale back stress in your knee joint.
Sturdy muscle groups at the back and front of your thigh (quadriceps and hamstrings respectively) assist your knee joint take up shock.
When there may be much less pressure on the knee, there’s a higher probability for ache reduction.
Ideally, swimming or water-based exercises are greatest as a result of water absorbs a part of your weight.
As you submerge your self within the water, you’re decreasing the stress on the decrease a part of the physique, however on the identical time, you’re growing the resistance.
You don’t should know methods to swim to get into the pool as a result of strolling, kicking or jogging in water is sufficient that will help you develop stronger leg and hip muscle groups, whereas growing your health degree.
For those who’re not a water lover or haven’t any entry to a pool, then attempt a land-based train.
Do the squat
Power-building workouts like squats, lunges, bridge, leg raises and calf raises will strengthen just a few muscle teams at one go.
As muscle imbalance is among the main causes for ache and damage, you should definitely work the fronts, backs and sides of your legs evenly.
The squat is among the greatest workouts to strengthen your knee joints as it’s a triple motion motion that works the hips, knees and ankles.
There are various variations of doing the squat, however should you’re a newbie, begin with sitting on the sting of a chair together with your again straight, knees aligned at a 90-degree angle and arms held in a prayer place.
Now, attempt to raise your backside just a few inches off the chair.
Maintain for 3 seconds, then deliver your butt down once more to relaxation on the chair.
Repeat that train 10 occasions.
To additional stabilise the knee joints, attempt some standing yoga poses on two legs earlier than making an attempt to steadiness on one leg, whereas sustaining good posture.
In case your knee is hurting it doesn’t matter what exercise you do, don’t ignore the ache and push via it as a result of that is going to additional worsen the ache.
A easy option to scale back irritation and ache is to ice the affected space for 20 minutes instantly after train.
Some actions can worsen the signs of osteoarthritis, and these embrace strolling or standing on laborious surfaces, or staying within the deep squat place whereas gardening or scrubbing flooring.
As a substitute, put on correctly cushioned sneakers or gel inserts when you’ve got a job or passion that entails standing on laborious surfaces, and sit on a low stool whereas gardening.
Additionally, don’t do the identical train day-after-day with the intention to keep away from repetitive movement damage.
Range your actions, e.g. stroll on Monday, raise weights on Tuesday, yoga on Wednesday, gardening on Thursday, and many others.
Whereas strengthening workouts construct muscle to assist help your knee, they’ll additionally tighten the muscle groups. Tight muscle groups are extra susceptible to damage.
Mild stretching after strengthening workouts reduces muscle soreness and can maintain your muscle groups lengthy and versatile.
What you eat may also have an effect on your joints, however there isn’t any particular eating regimen to ease knee ache.
Nevertheless, including sure vitamins to your eating regimen may also help defend your joints.
Research present that common consumption of omega-Three fatty acids lowers irritation attributable to extended knee ache.
Some good sources are fish like mackerel, sardines and tuna; inexperienced leafy greens like spinach; and eggs.
Many people additionally don’t get an ample consumption of calcium and vitamin D, each of that are vital for robust bones and wholesome joints.
They could additionally assist to forestall osteoporosis and different bone ailments which are attributable to ageing.
Do not forget that a sedentary life-style is the worst doable state of affairs on your knees. So, get shifting.
Revathi Murugappan is an authorized health coach who tries to battle gravity and continues to bop to precise herself artistically and nourish her soul. For extra info, e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The data contained on this column is for common academic functions solely. Neither The Star nor the creator offers any guarantee on accuracy, completeness, performance, usefulness or different assurances as to such info. The Star and the creator disclaim all duty for any losses, harm to property or private damage suffered straight or not directly from reliance on such info.