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Lifestyle Tips to Optimize Inner Thigh/Knee/Pelvic Health

You’ve been doing the V Sit/Legs on the Wall for a few weeks now. How do your knees and hips feel? Awesome right?!

So how can you optimize these great effects and continue reaping the benefits of this stretch throughout your day-to-day activities? Here’s a few ideas to help you out.

Everything that applies to the calf/knee applies here – because some structures of both the upper and lower leg cross the knee, having a knee straight more often will help.

  • reduce the heels – both the height and frequency of use. High(er) heels (from 1” and up) can cause chronic knee flexion. This is associated with short tight muscles and tendons that pull on the bones, reducing joint space and creating friction which leads to osteoarthritis.
  • If you spend a good deal of your day seated at a desk, scoot forward to the front of your chair (if you have a roller chair, you may need brakes!) and stick your legs straight out under the desk. You can spread them in a V here too! Do this as often as you can.
  • Stand more often at work – take your calls standing. Go and visit a colleague in the building rather than send a message. Take your breaks standing, not surfing!
  • When you walk, focus on getting the leg back behind you. If you want to walk faster, push further back, not taking faster shorter steps in front. This will lengthen those knee-crossing structures with each step, increasing lymph flow and muscle length. (Note, Bakers’ cysts are associated with OA* as well, so if you are a sufferer, you want to optimize the joint space!).
  • Walk more often! You’re already doing that right?
  • When you relax at home in front of the TV, sit on the floor with your back on the couch and sit in a V Sit. Do this to read, drink your tea, etc. (place a cushion under your bum if needed).
  • Sit on the floor in a V Sit with a laptop on the coffee table sometimes, instead of always using a desk.
  • If you are already a floor sitter, don’t always sit the same same, cross legged for example. Vary your joint experience.
  • Walk in a variety of textures/elevations. Climbing (hiking) is great for these muscles (and all of you). If you live in an urban area, try not always using the path provided. Use the grass beside it and take hills when you can. Walk up and down hills on an angle – this is a great tip for ankle strength as well. I walk up and down hills in parks in a zig-zag pattern.
A photo from a recent MYDNA workshop where the participants walked in a zigzag up and down a steep hill.

If you can think of any other tips, feel free to add them in the comments!

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27252896

 

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