This warmer weather means we’re getting outside. We’re stepping off the treadmills, away from the elliptical machines, and out of the pool. Instead you’re getting out for an evening power walk or run, riding your bike on the local bicycle paths or maybe you’re playing soccer or ultimate. What you may have noticed with this change in exercise and activity habits is some tightness, swelling, and creaking in your body. In particular, your knees might be a bit swollen and you might even be suffering from slightly sore knees.
Don’t despair! This is simply your body reminding you to take things easy. Remember that while you were active during the winter months exercising indoors and in the pool, there are different impacts on your body when you change up your routine.
For example, when you were running indoors on the treadmill, the treadmill was providing you with some extra cushioning and you were essentially running on a flat surface in a straight line. Now when you’re running or power walking outside, you have to deal with uneven surfaces and the unforgiving hardness of the sidewalk. While these might seem like minor changes, for our knees these changes can result in a big impacts. This is why you might have swollen knees or sore knees after your walk or run.
If this swelling and soreness persists then you should definitely consult a health practitioner, but likely these sensations are a result of a change in your routine. To help ease the transition from indoor to outdoor exercise there are a few easy things you can do:
- Warm-up lightly before starting your power walk or run. This means you start at a slower pace and gradually increase to your normal pace. You might even want to incorporate a 5-and-1 routine – five minutes at a slower pace and one minute at a moderate pace to help warm-up your knees and body.
- Take a look at your shoes. If you’ve worn the same shoes indoors all winter, it is likely time for a new pair. Look at the heel and forefoot of your shoes – if the tread is worn down or your shoes simply feel“dead” then it’s time for some new ones. Visit a reputable running shoe store and be sure to take in your old shoes, so the staff can understand how you walk or run.
- Stretch after your walk or run. Some simple stretches such as a calf stretch, hamstring stretch and quad stretch can help relieve muscle tightness. If you have a foam roller, roll out your calf and quad muscles.
- Listen to your body. If your knees remain sore or the swelling is constant, it is time to give your body a rest. Visit your health practitioner to make sure there is not a more severe knee injury or underlying problem.
- Look into a supplement such as SierraSil® Joint Formula14™. This proven supplement is popular with active people and professional athletes to help aid in muscle recovery and to help ease swelling in joints such as our knees.
Remember that patience early on in the spring, ensures that in August you’ll still be out there running, power-walking, kicking the soccer ball and riding your bike. We want you to be active all year-round, this is why we are firm believers in the daily use of SierraSil® Joint Formula14™. Don’t hesitate to ask us your questions and subscribe to our newsletter to get active lifestyle tips delivered to your inbox.