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Ease the knees with squats and weights

Frances Ive – Author of One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis

For several years I have not been able to get up easily if I am bending down to a low cupboard to get something out, have a look or to clean it. In yoga I have avoided doing squats that hurt my knees. So, when I was asked to show the NHS physiotherapist some squats, I winced.  Then he suggested I did them daily to help ease my knees. It’s not always the arthritis in the knees that hurts, it’s often the tightness in and around them.

By regular exercise, in this case, squatting, we can protect the knees by building up strength in the surrounding muscles.  Check out the diagram on squats for the knees on page 27, Chapter 3 of my book, One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.

I had officially gone to see the physiotherapist about my about Plantar fasciitis in my foot, but after 14 weeks of waiting to see him, it had cleared up. I decided to discuss my osteoarthritis in the knees.

My next question to the physio was, ‘Should |I be doing weights?’  His answer – ‘Everyone should’.  So I popped into a large supermarket and bought two weights of 1kg each to start with – costing the princely sum of £6.

I combine the weights with the squat and with one in each hand I put my arms straight out in front of  me and squat slowly, easing onto a low chair. Obviously, the aim is not to use the chair eventually, and that may not be very far off.

What’s the result? After 10 days, surprisingly to me, my knees hurt less after exercise and when walking downstairs, but there’s a way to go yet.

A word of caution – only do this to suit your own level of ability. You do not want to hurt yourself – so start slowly with squats and gradually add in the weights, looking at the instructions  that come with them.  Better to start slowly and build up, not push yourself too hard.

One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis focuses on what everyone can do to maintain quality of life by  keeping active and mobile despite having osteoarthritis. I emphasise the importance of exercise, diet and weight loss as well as giving plenty of practical tips that are easy to follow.

Click here to read the first chapter for free or purchase your own copy!



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