As the body ages, our strength and joint health decrease.
Much of these changes are due to age. Over time, our bodies wear out. It’s just part of life.
One area of the body that takes a lot of abuse over the years, is the knee. The knee is a complex joint made up of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and fluids–and it has to support all of your body weight through a long range of motion.
In the past 80 years, knee arthritis has doubled among older American adults. Much of this increase is due to inactivity.
Thankfully, there are many exercises that can be done to help strengthen the knee and take advantage of the body’s natural range of movement.
Keep reading for a closer look at some of the best knee strengthening exercises for seniors.
Top Knee Strengthening Exercises For Seniors
Lunges are a very simple exercise that requires no equipment. Walking lunges strengthen all areas of the leg and help increase balance and coordination at the same time.
Begin by standing naturally with your feet about hip-width apart. Then take a long step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your left knee is near the floor.
Then stand up, bring your feet back together and repeat with the left leg, moving forward. Repeat about 5 to 10 times per leg, only lowering yourself as far as you comfortably can.
Step-ups are another exercise that’s great for strengthening all areas of the leg. Step-ups are a very natural movement that will encourage coordination and balance in daily activities.
For this exercise, you’ll need something to step up on to. A low step stool, the first step on a flight of stairs or sturdy box will do.
Begin by standing in front of the step with your feet about six to twelve inches apart, then step up on the step with your right foot. Once both feet are on the step, step back down with the same foot. When both feet are back on the ground, repeat with the opposite foot.
Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times per leg.
Calf raises are a great way to strengthen the lower leg. As you walk and use your knees, strength throughout your legs will lead to decreased stress on the knees.
For this exercise, begin by standing behind a chair or other object you can hold on to, like a countertop. Place your hands on the chair or stabilizing surface and, with your feet about hip-width apart, lift your heels off the ground–pressing your weight up with your calf muscles.
Then lower your heels back to the ground and repeat 10 to 20 times.
Putting It All Together
Our knees are important. It’s pretty hard to get around without them.
Taking care of your body and staying active will go a long way toward ensuring that everything continues working correctly as you age.
Don’t wait until it’s too late, stay active and exercise those knees before you start to develop serious joint problems.
For more insight on staying healthy and active throughout life, and knee strengthening exercises for seniors, check out the rest of our blog.