Knees are one of the most difficult body parts to keep healthy but also essential for living actively. From simple aches to pops and swelling, knees can suffer from all sorts of problems. Many problems elsewhere in your body, from injured hips to simply being overweight, can add to knee pain. Worst of all, these issues can build up and lead to arthritis or other injuries as you age. 

There are many methods for helping to take care of your knees, though, and most of them are things you can start doing today from your home. Here are some suggestions for ways to keep your knees healthy for years to come. 

1. Warming Your Joints 

The more circulation around your joints, the faster they can heal and the less pain will be an issue. One key way to increase circulation is by way of therapeutic heat. Applying a thermal wrap to your joints around half an hour before a workout will help loosen up your knees. Don’t feel like you need to buy expensive heating gels either; these products generally don’t get deep enough into your body to actually affect circulation around the joints. 

2. Icing 

And now the extreme opposite of heat. Where heat increases circulation, applying ice to your body can help stop inflammation and muscle spasms. While heat is best before a workout, applying an ice pack for 20 or 30 minutes after an intense exercise session can work wonders. If your skin is sensitive to cold, you can wrap the ice pack in a thin towel to help protect your skin. 

3. Resistance Training 

Most people think of resistance training as a way to build muscles. This is true, but there are more benefits to strong muscles than just looking nice. Those muscles actually help hold your bones and joints in the right places. As such, building up strong muscles around your knees can help improve your health. Your glutes, quads, and core all have an impact on your knees. Likewise, standing exercises that stretch your arches can help build stability in your ankles, which will, in turn, stop unwanted knee compression. 

4. Movement While Resting 

Even after working out, you’ll still want your body to be active — just in a weigh that gives relief to your knees. Swimming, riding bike, and rowing are all great activities that provide continued exercise without putting additional strain on your knees. You can also explore certain passive yoga poses, such as the Hero Pose, which allows you to rest your knees and improve your posture. Experienced yoga users can even calm their body and get rid of pain during these poses. 

5. Wear the Right Shoes

The impact of your feet on the ground can have a detrimental effect on your knees. By choosing shoes that are supportive in all of the right places the pressure will be taken off your knees. Take a look at these orthotic sandals that are both comfortable and supportive.

These are just a few tips that will help keep your knees, feet, and hips strong. This is key to enjoying an active lifestyle and not suffering for it later in life.