Don’t go ‘weak at knees’ at the thought of exercise: make sure you’re feeling ready to Spring into action!
Don't be weak at the knees when it comes to exercise so you are ready for spring season. As the days become lighter and longer, many people report a renewed motivation for getting fit, exercise, becoming more active during the spring and generally taking strides to embrace the great outdoors!
Many also see spring as the perfect opportunity to try out a new sport or set an ambitious goal such as training for a park run, half marathon, or a charity walk. However, embarking on any form of exercise - whether it’s entirely ‘new to you’ or been a while since you last were pounding the streets – ‘baby steps’ are often advised to avoid potential injury or strain.
So, if you’re planning to put a spring in your step with a gentle jog or a round of golf, it’s important to prepare your body from top to toe, especially after a long, lazy winter. There’s no question about the physical and mental payback of exercise…just don’t run before you can walk!
And, while warmer climates can be more comfortable for those suffering from joint pain (and a welcome change from the ‘creakiness’ caused by the dark, damp days of winter), do avoid overdoing it at the first sign of a sunny spring day. Easing yourself back into action will not only help prevent any aches and pains but will also be beneficial for your joints in the long term.
A recent survey1 commissioned by Contura Orthopaedics Ltd revealed that half (50%) of Brits said that joint and knee pain had prevented them from taking part in sport or physical activity of any kind over the past 12 months. Despite this, 43% of people questioned said that, overall, they had become more active during periods of ‘pandemic lockdowns’ and of those, an amazing 97% said it was important to them to maintain this level of activity for both their physical and mental wellbeing.
It’s estimated that approximately 8.5 million people in the UK2 suffer from OA, with around 1 in every 5 people aged over 45 in England affected by knee osteoarthritis2. However, current treatments are often unlikely to have a long-lasting effect, with an eventual high probability of invasive knee replacement surgery.
Contura Orthopaedics Ltd., on the other hand, recently introduced Arthrosamid® to the UK market – a novel injectable treatment for knee osteoarthritis that provides an effective, safe, and minimally invasive treatment to alleviate the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA) – it has long been a positive and viable alternative to surgery for many eligible patients.
Here, are some top tips on how to make sure that a ‘summer of sport’ doesn’t lead to a ‘winter of discontent’:
Start slow and stretch
Incorporating stretching into any routine will help prepare and restore joints. It’s important to build muscles to support your joints and increase your mobility and endurance. If you normally enjoy practising yoga or Pilates, why not simply move your exercise mat outside and take in the added benefits of the fresh air? Both are low-impact and can help with joint stiffness, increase flexibility and can be modified to suit your abilities.
Put your best foot forward
Walking is a great and accessible way to exercise, particularly if you suffer from joint pain. You really can take it at your own pace, and it will help to keep you in shape and work your muscles whilst enjoying the great outdoors.
Let your love of gardening grow
The flowers are beginning to open, the grass is green, and it’s time to start sowing those tomato seeds and turning over the vegetable patch and flower beds. However, according to Arthritis Research UK, 89% of gardeners report suffering from joint pain due to the level of strain put on knees and elbows by the repetitive and strenuous nature of many gardening tasks (such as weeding and digging). As a relaxing, recreational (and often very sociable) form of exercise, gardening can improve aerobic stamina, improve strength and stability. Just make you’re always using the correct type of tool for the job, have invested in a decent knee-mat and where appropriate, have swapped manually operated equipment for power-operated gadgets e.g., swap in a hedge trimmer for those rusty garden shears!
Put the wheels in motion
They say you never forget how to ride a bike and it can be an easier form of exercise on your knees than running. By helping to build stronger muscles it can support the knee joints which in turn helps to minimise pain and damage. Stronger muscles improve and stabilize the knees, and help to absorb shock-impact better, which in turn assists in the reduction of damage and pain.
The benefits of fresh air, surrounded by nature can be an encouragement in itself to get outside and exercise, not to mention the overall positive impact it can have on your health and mental wellbeing. So don’t let joint and knee pain hold you back.
Arthrosamid® injections are now being introduced to patients through a network of leading orthopaedic clinicians across the UK, including Professor Paul Lee at 108 Harley Street, Mr Sean Curry & Mr Mark Webb at The London Orthopaedic Clinic, Professor Martyn Snow at the Birmingham Knee and Shoulder Clinic and Mr Sanj Anand at The OrthTeam Centre, Manchester.
1. Survey of 2,005 UK adults by Atomik Research commissioned by Contura International, September 2021