HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO RUN TO SLIM UP?
If running is your passion, you surely know that you need to take maximum care of your knees. Thus, you will avoid injuring yourself, suffering pain, or the discomfort you may feel prevent you from enjoying your favorite exercises. Therefore, we are going to review how you should take care of your knees and what exercises you can do to prepare them before starting the race.
The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the body and is necessary for the proper functioning of the foot, leg, hip, spine and for the sense of freedom of movement, as it is necessary to move, sit, get up, kneel down, keep our balance and drive some types of vehicles.
It is a joint with a great angle of mobility – up to 160 degrees in flexion/extension – but which also has to be able to support the weight of the body in its maximum flexion, for example, to get up off the ground, But it not only supports the weight but the forces of inertia when running or jumping, falling and doing it in motion. It is not a magic or rubber joint, but inside it has its fixed and movable anatomical parts that allow it to do everything it does.
On the other hand, in flexion, it is capable of a rotational movement that allows the foot to orient itself in one direction or another.
Also, it is not always the same. “From birth to adolescence it grows in size while also supporting more and more weight of the body and, after adolescence, it must still function properly for another 60 years despite age, wear and tear, osteoporosis, accidents and injuries Chronicles that appear. Its other quality is that it is not alone, but that it works in sync with the other knee, both of which must have the same size, resistance, and coordination.
Why do our knees hurt?
Pain is the body’s alarm system to manifest some dysfunction and it is intended that what hurts is used as little as possible so that it can be cured, Its function is to “force” us to pay attention to the care of that part of the body and to avoid its use.
Pain manifests in the knee for multiple reasons. “It can be an intense pain of sudden onset when some of its parts are injured suddenly, for example, the meniscus, the ligaments in cases of sports or traffic accidents.”
Other pains can appear progressively over months or years, such as wear and tear in osteoarthritis due to age or obesity, degenerative pain due to overuse, joint imbalance, or repeated movements during work activity. Also, some diseases of the body or the blood (such as arthritis, gout, and infections) can cause knee pain, even though the internal “parts” of the knee are mechanically healthy.
How can we strengthen our knees if we are going to run?
In general, the healthy body is strengthened with use, therefore, it is important to maintain regular exercise, avoid a sedentary lifestyle and in some cases, increase some specific exercises to strengthen some specific areas of the body (which is called physiotherapy).
As in everything, you have to know how to do it correctly. ” Strengthening exercises should be gradual and progressive over time and always remember that the joints, tendons, and muscles need a“ warm-up ”time before exercising them to the maximum. If they are forced“ cold ”, they are usually easily injured.
Examples of exercises to prepare your knees
The most prudent strengthening exercises are those that are part of general sports exercises that integrate several parts of the body at the same time and that are normal physiological movements but done with more frequency or intensity.
But to warm up, you can start with these:
Twists: standing, slightly bend your knees, rest your hands on it, and perform gentle turns on both sides.
Flexion: Standing, with your legs straight and with your hands resting on your knees, gently bend them forward (as if you were going to sit down) and get into the starting position.
Knees Up: Standing, bend your knees up until they are at a right angle and lower again.
Stretching: likewise, the stretching and warm-up exercises that you will do before starting any activity also help you prepare your knees.
“Remember that before submitting to a long or intense period of exercises, you should make sure that there are no previous alterations in the knee – known or not – postural imbalances or gait alterations that could be aggravated”, warns experts.
Excessive exercises, if there is any previous alteration, can damage them, so it is prudent and necessary to make an appointment with the doctor for a medical evaluation.
Why is it so important to warm up before running?
Running is a physical activity that requires complete coordination of the psychological attitude, the cardiovascular system, the balance system, the neurological coordination, and the musculoskeletal system of the lower extremities. The latter refers to the motor part, that is, the tendons and the muscles.
To run you must be able to exert all the strength and mechanical resistance, sometimes with tensions of up to 1000 kg in the tendons. This great capacity for resistance to mechanical stress occurs if a warm-up is previously carried out by means of progressive dynamic stretching for 15 or more minutes, which gives the muscle and tendon their maximum capacity to resist rupture or tear. If it is overloaded “cold”, the most common is that it will catch fire, tear or break.
These injuries that occur due to lack of warm-up are not really “sports accidents” but “sports recklessness”, since we know that they occur almost always, in almost everyone and that they take time to heal. In addition, those who overexert themselves without previously warming up usually do so on a regular basis, so the micro-tear injuries overlap.
Nor should you end your effort abruptly with total rest. Progressively reducing exercise allows the muscles, tendons, arteries, and heart to have progressive changes and thus avoid retention in the muscles, tendons, and veins of the metabolic products of extreme exercise.
Exercises if you’ve had a knee injury
In a process of recovery from a knee injury, it is important to take into account two aspects: recovering the range of motion (if it has been lost) and strengthening the muscles of the limb, if it has been weakened or needs to be rebalanced.
“Knee injuries can affect several of its internal elements at the same time, either due to a simultaneous injury or because they coexist with previous chronic injuries. It is not as simple as a panel of exercises for everyone and everything,” he insists Dr. Tognetta.
The indication of the type of exercises to subsequently perform each type of injury in specific patients is a subject of the specialties of physiotherapy, rehabilitation, sports medicine, traumatology, and orthopedics, which assess the multiple factors of each patient in order to prescribe a personalized treatment in every moment of improvement