Need Pain-Free Knees? Start Here!

11 Exercises That Help Decrease Knee Pain

By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer

If your knees are giving you problems, and you feel like the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz” when getting out of bed, you’re not alone. Nearly 50 million Americans feel the same way.

Knees are the most commonly injured joints in the body. Considering that when you simply walk up stairs, the pressure across your knee joints is four times your body weight, it isn’t surprising. Simple, everyday wear and tear can end up hurting your mobility.

But it’s not too late. Like a rusty door hinge, with care and maintenance, you knees can be trouble free. Even if you already experience problems, exercising the muscles surrounding the knee joints— Quadriceps (front of thigh), Hamstrings (back of thigh), Abductor (outside thigh), and Adductor (inside thigh)—will help make your knees stronger and less susceptible to injury. Exercise keeps your joints from stiffening and provides needed support, making movement easier and reducing pain.

Here are some exercises you can do to both stretch and strengthen the knee area:

STRETCHES

  1. Chair knee extension: Sitting in a chair, rest your foot on another chair so the knee is slightly raised. Gently push the raised knee toward the floor using only leg muscles. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.
  2. Heel slide knee extension: Lie on your back, with left knee bent and left foot flat on floor. Slowly slide the left heel away from your body so both legs are parallel. Hold for 5-10 seconds, return to starting position. Repeat 5 times on each leg.
  3. Knee flexion: Sitting in a chair, loop a long towel under your foot (resting on the floor). Gently pull on the towel with both hands to bend the knee, raising your foot 4 – 5 inches off the floor. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.
  4. Hamstring stretch: Standing, put one foot in front of you, toes up. With hands on the small of your back (or one hand holding a chair for balance), bend the opposite knee and hip (not your lower back), until you feel the hamstrings stretch. The upper body comes forward at the hip. Hold for 5 -10 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times on each leg.

STRENGTH TRAINING

  1. Wall slide: Leaning with your back against a wall, bend your knees 30°, sliding down the wall, then straighten up again. Move slowly and smoothly, using your hands on the wall for balance. Keep feet and legs parallel, and do not allow knees to go out over the toes. Repeat 5 -10 times.
  2. Bent-Leg Raises: Sitting in a chair, straighten one leg in the air (without locking the knee). Hold for about one minute. Bend your knee to lower the leg about halfway to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to starting position. Work up to 4 reps on each leg.
  3. Straight-Leg Raises: Sitting in a chair, rest your foot on another chair. Lift the foot a few inches off the chair while keeping your leg straight. Hold for 5 -10 seconds. Return to resting position. Repeat 5 -10 times. (Also work on increasing the time, up to 2-3 minutes if possible.)
  4. Abductor Raise: Lie on your side, propped on one elbow. The leg on the floor bent, the other straight. Slowly lift the top leg, hold for 5 -10 seconds, then lower. (Ankle weights will increase the intensity). Do 1-3 sets with 12-15 repetitions each. Remember to rest in between sets.
  5. Hamstring Curl: Stand with the front of your thighs against a surface (a table or wall). Flex one knee up as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds, then lower slowly. If possible, do not touch the floor between repetitions. (Ankle weights will increase the intensity.) Do 1-3 sets with 12-15 repetitions each. Remember to rest in between sets.
  6. Step-Ups: Stand in front of a step, like a sturdy bench or stairs, about two feet high (or less if necessary). Step up onto the support, straighten your knees fully (without locking them) and step down. Maintain a steady pace. If you are comfortable with your balance, pump your arms while doing this exercise. Start with 1 minute, slowly building your time. Gets your heart pumping too!
  7. Stationary Bike: Biking is a good way to increase strength and range of motion. Make sure you have the right positioning of the legs. At the bottom of the pedal stroke, the bend in the knee should be 15 degrees. Start with 10 minutes and slowly increase your time.

Depending on your current level of activity and mobility, a good start is 3 stretching and 3 strengthening exercises, 3-4 times a week. Stretching can be (and should be) done everyday if possible to prevent stiffness and achy joints. These stretches can be done a few times a day if needed.

BONUS TIP: If you have increased soreness after doing these exercises, it may help to ice your knee or knees for 10 – 20 minutes. Place a bag of ice (or frozen vegetables) over the joint, with a towel between to protect the skin. Elevate your leg on a chair if ice alone is inadequate.

Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=363&page=2

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What’s Driving America’s Obesity Problem?

What’s Driving America’s Obesity Problem?

Currently, nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight. By 2030 it is estimated more than half our population may be clinically obese. Childhood obesity has tripled, and most children will grow up to be overweight as well. The United States may be in the midst of raising the first generation, since our nation’s founding, that will have a shorter predicted life span than that of the previous generation.

The food industry blames inactivity. We just need to move more, they say. But what is the role of exercise in the treatment of obesity?

“There is considerable debate in the medical literature today about whether physical activity has any role whatsoever in the epidemic of obesity that has swept the globe since the 1980s.” The increase in calories per person is more than sufficient to explain the U.S. epidemic of obesity. In fact, if anything, the level of physical activity over the last few decades has actually gone up in both Europe and North America.

This has important policy implications. We still need to exercise more, but the priorities for reversing the obesity epidemic should focus on the overconsumption of calories. American children are currently eating about an extra 350 calories (equal to about a can of soda and small fries), and adults are eating about an extra 500 calories (equal to about one Big Mac).  We’d have to walk two hours a day, seven days a week to burn off those calories. So exercise can prevent weight gain, but the amount required to prevent weight gain may be closer to twice the current recommendations. It’s more effective to stick to foods rich in nutrients but poor in calories: see my video Calculate Your Healthy Eating Score. It’s cheaper too, see Best Nutrition Bang For Your Buck.

Public health advocates have been experimenting with including this kind of information. One study found that fast food menus labeled with calories and the number of miles to walk to burn those calories appeared the most effective in influencing the selection of lower calorie meals.

Exercise alone may have a small effect, and that small effect can make a big difference on a population scale. A 1% decrease in BMI nationwide might prevent millions of cases of diabetes and heart disease and thousands of cases of cancer. But why don’t we lose more weight from exercise? It may be because we’re just not doing it enough. “The small magnitude of weight loss observed from the majority of exercise interventions may be primarily due to low doses of prescribed exercise.”

People tend to overestimate how many calories are burned by physical activity. For example, there’s this myth that a bout of sexual activity burns a few hundred calories. So may think, “Hey, I could get a side of fries with that.” But if we actually hook people up and measure energy expenditure during the act (and the study subjects don’t get too tangled up with all the wires and hoses) it may be only close to the metabolic equivalent of calisthenics. Given that the average bout of sexual activity only lasts about six minutes, a young man might expend approximately 21 calories during sexual intercourse. Due to baseline metabolic needs, he would have spent roughly one third of that just lying around watching TV, so the incremental benefit is plausibly on the order of 14 calories. So maybe he could have one fry with that.

But don’t get me wrong—exercise is wonderful! Check out, for example: What Women Should Eat to Live Longer and Halving Heart Attack Risk.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D

Get started on the right track to beating obesity. Ask me how!!
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Mixing Supplements & Drugs can be Dangerous

IDLife takes the guesswork out of the equation by offering our Free Assessment that does the work for you based on the answers you give. Take your Free Assessment Here

One-third of American mix supplements with meds, study saysvitamins_supplements_640

One in three adults in the U.S. is taking both prescription medications and dietary supplements, creating a risk for dangerous interactions, according to a new study.

Multivitamins with added ingredients like herbs or fish oil were the most common form of supplement mixed with medications, researchers found.

“Multivitamins are commonly assumed to be safe, but our analysis suggests multivitamins, which may include multivitamin ‘plus’ combination products, can also contain botanical and herbal ingredients that have the potential to interact with prescription medications,” Harris Lieberman told Reuters Health in an email.

Lieberman, the study’s senior author, is a researcher with the Military Nutrition Division of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) in Natick, Massachusetts.

Lieberman said the team did this study to determine how many people in the U.S. are using dietary supplements and prescription medications together, and whether patterns of dietary supplement use are different among people with various kinds of medical conditions.

negative drug interaction

“This information can help health care professionals to identify who may be at risk of having an adverse interaction between a supplement and prescription medication,” he said.

For their study, Lieberman, along with lead author Emily Farina and their colleagues, used information taken from the 2005 – 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which represents the entire national population.

The researchers focused on 10,480 adults (4,934 women who were not pregnant and 5,016 men) who answered survey questions about their dietary supplement and prescription medication use, as well as whether they had any of the following medical conditions: asthma, arthritis, congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol emphysema, chronic bronchitis, cancer, weak bones or problems with the liver, thyroid or kidneys.

The researchers found that 47 percent of participants diagnosed with any of those medical conditions used both supplements and prescription medications. That compared to about 17 percent of adults who didn’t have those conditions, but were taking prescription medications for other reasons, such as birth control pills or antidepressants.

Overall, 34 percent of the participants – representing some 72 million people in the U.S. – were taking some kind of dietary supplement along with a prescription medication, according to the results published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Cardiovascular medications were most likely to be used along with dietary supplements, followed by central nervous system agents, hormones, metabolism-related drugs, psychotherapeutic agents and antibiotics or antivirals.

Multivitamins containing other ingredients were more common than standard multivitamins. The ingredients most often added to the enhanced multivitamins included fish oil, botanicals, herbs, probiotics, fiber, enzymes, antacids and glucosamine and chondroitin.

Supplement use was most common among people with diagnosed osteoporosis, followed by those with thyroid, cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular, kidney, diabetes, respiratory and liver conditions.

The authors call the findings “concerning” because some herbal supplements are known to alter the way the liver metabolizes drugs, and can increase or weaken the potency of a medication.

Annette Dickinson told Reuters Health that the large number of people who used both supplements and prescription medications in the study didn’t surprise her.

Dickinson is a consultant for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a supplement industry trade group, and an adjunct professor in food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota.

She wasn’t involved in the new study, but has researched some of the reasons why consumers take dietary supplements.

“Obviously anybody who is taking prescription medication should be telling their doctor everything they’re taking so that a judgment can be made whether there is, or might be, an issue,” she said.

Dickinson added that pharmacists may also be a good source of information on medications and dietary supplements, but she doesn’t think that should be a substitute for speaking with a doctor.

“Patients, especially those taking medications or given new prescriptions, should always inform their doctors about what dietary supplements they are taking, and doctors can help patients by asking about their supplements,” Lieberman said.

Lieberman added that if a patient is concerned, then bringing the supplement’s original container will help doctors and other healthcare providers identify ingredients in supplements that have a potential to interact with medications.

“Patients can also use reputable sources to check if there have been reports about interactions of dietary supplements they are considering taking and their medications.”

The National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus website (1.usa.gov/1hcxeF7), for example, has information on interactions between drugs, supplements and herbal ingredients.

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Watch the video then read below

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Please read it all the way to the end… I only tell you this because I care!!!

It’s time America to wake up and face the reality of what poor eating habits are doing to our children. We blame the kids for over eating but children learn their habits, good and bad from the ones who teach them, starting at an early age.

The video hit extremely close to home for me, I grew up obese, from the early age of 5/6, and still fight this disease today. But now I have diabetes, neuropathy, sever rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure and struggled my whole life with the teasing and cruel words from others. I was not an over eater, I didn’t binge eat… I was taught to clean my plate and not to waste food. As I got older and could make better choices, I struggled with all the a low metabolism and a fight to lose weight no matter what I tried.

I was introduced to IDLife, the nutrition, the shakes, appetite chews, energy chews & drink & sleep strips at the beginning of the year, and I have to say that it has been the biggest blessing and is saving my life.

>I have lost 75 lbs. & still going
>My bad cholesterol is down & my good is up
>My blood pressure is running 120×80 consistantly
>My RA is manageable (avg pain was 12+ daily now I avg 1/2)
>My A1C has been between 7.4 & 7.6 for over 5 years solid.
At the end of January I started my IDNutrition, customized for me when I took the the IDLife Assessment. This is the progress I have accomplished from January to July. (All changes were doctor approved)
January A1C – 7.4 (taking 5 shots a day)
April A1C – 7.1 (taking 2 shots a day)
July A1C – 6.5 (taking 2 shots a day / decreased by 10 units)

If you care about your health, your families health, your friends health…
you will stop the madness and do something that will be beneficial for you all. DON’T make the mistakes your parents & grandparents made…
Go take the Free Assessment and get started on the road to a healthier you… then help your family and friends do the same. Don’t be the one in the video, and don’t let it be someone you care about.  www.tukco.idlife.com

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Stepping out of my Comfort Zone Week 6 & 7 Transformation

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Received a call from the doctor’s office this week with results from my A1C blood work. I test every 3 months to see how my Blood Sugar levels are doing.
I’m a Type 2 Diabetic who has struggled for almost 10 years to get my blood sugar to acceptable levels of 7 or below. I have not been able to do this no matter what I’ve tried. My A1C has been between 7.4 & 7.6 for over 5 years solid.
At the end of January I started my IDNutrition, customized for me when I took the the IDLife Assessment. This is the progress I have accomplished from January to July. (All changes were doctor approved)
January A1C – 7.4 (taking 5 shots a day)
April A1C – 7.1 (taking 2 shots a day)
July A1C – 6.5 (taking 2 shots a day / decreased by 10 units)
AND I AM ALSO DOWN 75 LBS. using the #IDLifeMealReplacementShakes and #AppetiteControlChews TAKE YOUR FREE ASSESSMENT ATWWW.TUKCO.IDLIFE.COM
This is all due to my IDNutrition and IDLife products. Thank you #IDLife !!
I am making changes that my future self will thank me for. If you are interested in learning more, message me or give me a call at 214 641 2472.

July 15 – 21

Day 50 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1148 Calories burned for the day 0

Day 49 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1192 Calories burned for the day 0.

Day 48 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1243 Calories burned for the day 552.

Day 47 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1271 Calories burned for the day 0.

Day 46 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1210 Calories burned for the day 95.

Day 45 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1372 Calories burned for the day 0.

Day 44 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1118 Calories burned for the day 0.

 July 8 – 14

Day 43 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1499 Calories burned for the day 247.

Day 42 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1540 Calories burned for the day 158.

Day 41 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1520 Calories burned for the day 127.

Day 40 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1404 Calories burned for the day 95.

Day 39 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1301 Calories burned for the day 0.

Day 38 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1223 Calories burned for the day 0.

Day 37 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1458 Calories burned for the day 247.

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Stepping out of my Comfort Zone Week 5 Transformation

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Things are up and down right now. Kinda in a plateau on weight. I know it will smooth out and start dropping again but I’m human. 🙂 I want it now!  LOL

I have noticed a drop in inches. I have worn stretch pants for 20 years and for the first time I can say the ones I have are now baggy on me. I am happy about that and my blouses are not tight on the belly.

If my knee would be more co-operative I would be a lot better, but it is still not allowing a whole lot of exercise before it gives out on me. But I am walking more, and further distance each time to help strengthen it.  Y’all have a good week. Sorry this report is so far behind.

July 2 – 7

Day 36 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1353 Calories burned for the day 0.

Day 35 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1242 Calories burned for the day 95.

Day 34 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1203 Calories burned for the day 247.

Day 33 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1481 Calories burned for the day 190.

Day 32 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1088 Calories burned for the day 152.

Day 31 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1411 Calories burned for the day 190.

 

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Stepping out of my Comfort Zone Week 4 Transformation

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June 23 – July 1

Day 30 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1372 Calories burned for the day 127.
The first 30 days has not been to bad, minus this past week of an upset tummy. I am more productive in my exercise, I’m keeping my calories pretty consistent and I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 10.2 lbs this month. Though it may not seem like a lot for some of you, it is for me. I am losing fat lbs., not just quick water loss that always comes back.
I am in this to get healthier, keep the weight off and change my lifestyle in a way that is permanent. I’ve tried so many weight loss products over the years, only to gain back the lost weight and more when I stopped using the products, not to mention the adverse effects some of those products had on my diabetes.victory
Now I know that it’s about being consistent and changing what I eat, when I eat and how much I eat. For me that is the Victory!! Keep watching as I continue my 90 Day Transformation journey

Day 29 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1040 Calories burned for the day 0.

Day 28 in my transformation. Calories for the day 890 Calories burned for the day 222.

Day 27 in my transformation. Calories for the day 776 Calories burned for the day 127.
Day 26 in my transformation. Calories for the day 738 Calories burned for the day 0.

Day 25 in my transformation. Calories for the day 701 Calories burned for the day 0. I know I know! Calories too low. Had a very upset tummy all day and food was not a priority today. Just barely kept dinner down (so far) so no getting on my butt for to few calories.

Day 24 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1220 Calories burned for the day 127.

Day 23 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1401 Calories burned for the day 190.

Day 22 in my transformation. Calories for the day 1010 Calories burned for the day 0. Didn’t get in my exercise for the day, however calories were low.

Join me in my 90 Day Transformation at www.tukco.idlife.com

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