4 ways to keep your knees in shape for hiking

For those of us who love adventure and actively exploring the great outdoors near Sevierville, knees are one of the most valuable parts of our body.  Because hiking, trail running, and biking tends to put a strain on these most important of joints, it is vital to take the time to practice methods that will keep your knees in the best of shape, ensuring they will be able to take on the adventures you want to have for years to come. Here are four ways to keep your knees in great shape.

Rest: While this may seem contradictory to a life of adventure, not allowing your knees to rest puts them at a much higher risk of injury. You also risk further damaging a joint that may already be sensitive, which could result in chronic pain, swelling, and arthritis. This can all be avoided with rest, ensuring the health of your knees, and other joint and muscle groups in the long run. Always remember that resting will ultimately allow you to perform better at all of your adventurous activities. Be sure to rest after a strenuous day of activity, and always leave one or two days of the week in which you avoid any sort of arduous exercise. On a rest day you can walk around the park in Sevierville, and as you see the mountains in the distance, know that you’ll be back there before you know it!

Strengthen up: Making sure that you strengthen the muscles around the knee and get vital blood flowing to crucial parts is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t end up having a knee injury. Activities that aren’t hard on your joints are excellent ways to get stronger in these areas, these include yoga, swimming, and moderate cycling. While working on strengthening your knees, cross-training with activities that build your cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and agility is the perfect supplement to ensure a balanced activity plan .

Strategize your hike: Be conscious of your body’s needs before, during, and after your hike to decrease the chance of injuries happening during any part of the activity. Always be sure to warm up and stretch before starting your hike. Wear shoes that properly distribute the load on your weight-bearing joints. The shoes you wear while hiking should fit well and provide comfort and support. If you have joints that are already affected, you could consider using a walking stick to help disperse your body weight. People with more serious injuries could wear supportive braces and devices, as well as shoe inserts. There is a wider array of options available to meet every situation, and help you enjoy the hike to the fullest. As you are starting your hike, be sure to begin slowly, and gradually increase the level of activity over time. If you are coming back from an injury, or haven’t been very active previously, be sure to start out on more level, even trails, increasing the distances and difficulty of your hike as you become fitter and stronger. A great place to start is a walk in a park in Sevierville. Always make sure that at the end of a hike, you cool down and stretch again to finish it out.

By taking these preventative measures, you are ensuring that your body with be able to take you to all of your adventures for years to come. Take care of your body, and it will take care of you!