Maintaining healthy knees is critical for anyone who leads an active lifestyle. Knees can be achy or tight and may pop or swell. Cartilage damage, injured hips and weak feet, or excess body weight contribute to knee pain, and minor structural misalignments can lead to injuries and arthritis later in life.
Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett says caring for your knees begins at home. Stay active and maintain healthy hips, knees and feet through strength training, flexibility and a little TLC.
Juice Up Your Joints
Therapeutic heat boosts circulation around joints, and results in accelerated healing, increased mobility, and pain relief. Before a workout, apply a thermal wrap for 20 to 30 minutes, or until you feel your knees loosen up. Save your money on heating gels, as they don’t reach deep enough to increase circulation around the joint.
Freeze The Pain
Ice is one of the best ways to reduce pain, calm inflammation, and decrease muscle spasms. After a workout, apply an ice pack (or plastic bag filled with ice) for a minimum of 20 minutes. For sensitive skin, use a thin towel between the joint and ice to prevent damage.
Resistance training does more than give you shapely muscles. Strong muscles hold your bones and joints in place. Toned quads, a solid core and tight glutes are the keys to healthy knees. Stable ankles prevent knee compression, so maximize standing exercises by lifting your inner arches while pressing outer arches to the floor.
After an intense workout, sore joints will benefit from non-weight-bearing activity. Ride a bike, swim some laps, or hop on a row machine. Passive yoga poses are an excellent opportunity to slow down and breathe deep. Sink into Hero Pose to keep your knees lithe and limber. Direct breath to any discomfort and feel tight areas melt away.
Focusing on strength, flexibility and alignment will keep your hips, knees and feet strong and supple so you can enjoy an active lifestyle.
Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. She has advanced the business opportunities of women and men in the fitness industry by growing the program into an international franchise business that today, hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries.
The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, cardio box and Latin style movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor. Additional Jazzercise programs include Junior Jazzercise, Jazzercise Lite and Personal Touch. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.