Thursday, May 15, 2008

Deep Impact on Knees

For those who have been joining my classes since last Friday, I did mention that my right knee actually hurt a little. Not sharp pain or persistent pain, just a little sting on and off. It alarmed me for the need to look after my joints and not to overwork. The pain is gradually subsiding now. If you have been checking every part of my blog, you would have noticed that at the bottom of the page, there is a section about my weekly calories burned. Because I'm fat, I want to make sure that I burn at least 800 Calories per day on average. This requires very strong discipline. Such as when I knew that I couldn't burn up at least 800 Calories on last week due to class cancellation, I ran on treadmill to make up the deficit. I suspected it was the run that hurt my knees. BodyCombat doesn't involve constant and prolonged running and jumping. And after doing BodyCombat for years, we have learnt how to avoid injury. So, the culprit that first came into my mind is the treadmill, ha ha!

In the post of Are all exercises the same?, we have learnt that exercises are different in terms of the capacity in conditioning our heart and lungs. Now, same question again but in different context: Are all exercises the same, this time in terms of the exertion of pressure or impact on our joints, especially the knees?


You have actually known the answer even without me telling. Yes, you are right: Different exercises or activities give different degree of impact or pressure on our knees. We know when we jump, our knees have to absorb more pressure than, say, climbing stairs. But have you ever wondered how strong is the impact actually? Or how much pressure are our knees absorbing?

Human body is such a marvelous thing. Our knees, being so small and look so fragile and vulnerable, have to support our full body weight when we are standing. And when we are moving, they have to, and are capable of absorbing pressures few times greater than that of our full body weight. Here are some examples on how many times our full body weight is put on our knees when we are performing different exercises:

Climbing, 3X^ Climbing: 3 times the body weight

Running, 6X^ Running: 6 times the body weight

Jumping, 9X^ Jumping: 9 times the body weight

For example, if we weight 50kg and we are running on the treadmill, our knees have to absorb 300kg (6 x 50kg) of pressure each time we stride! And when we jump and land, that pressure would become 450kg! Wow! Don't play play oh!

Now we know how much pressure our knees are taking with different exercises, we must then learn to appreciate them more. Give them good care and look after them properly. Know our own limits, and obey them whenever possible. Don't do things that will make us regret in the future. If we are overweight, do shred the extra weight off to give our knees lighter load. If we have knees problems, do engage in exercises that are more knee friendly. For me, I make sure myself exercise very regularly, so to maintain the body weight and body fat. What about you?

In a nutshell:

Our body can withstand pressures few times greater than our body weight. However, that doesn't mean we should take it for granted. The heavier we are, the higher the pressure and force our knees have to take. Do exercise some understanding on how hard our body is working, and do something to reduce its load in order to maintain better health and fitness in the long run.

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4 comments:

jackietwk said...

Hi Eugene..thanks again..Actually Im Wai Keat a.k.a Jackietwk..Haha..
Do we need to sleep early if we want to have a nice n perfect shape of our body??

|| Eugene Lim || said...

According to Chinese medicine, it’s during the sleeping hours that our vital internal organs are being repaired. For instance, during 11 PM and 1 AM, it’s the recovery time for our liver. Some of the major functions of liver include metabolizing protein, sugar, fat and vitamins. It also helps to detoxify any toxins found in the body. It’s advisable that we sleep during these hours, so that our body can get sufficient rest. Otherwise, the repairing work on the liver will be affected, our energy level will be depleted, and other side effects will follow through.

Boon said...

WAT!!! in ur first paragraph, u said tat u r FAT!!! u kidding me ar.. if u r FAT, then wat am i???

|| Eugene Lim || said...

You're well-built, loh! Ha ha!