Monday, 8 August 2016

Love hiking??..Take care of your knees newbies..

Oh yes! Hiking is new cool! Many of us, otherwise couch potatoes are finding their way off to treks on weekends.. It is definitely a very good idea to burn those extra calories from "extra cheese burgers". But guys watch out for your knees.

As with many of us, exercising on weekdays is not always possible due to hectic schedule. So, practically you are losing muscle mass by inactivity on weekdays, sitting for more than 6 hours a day has lot of negative effects not only on heart and lungs but also on muscular-skeletal systems.

And it doesn’t end there; performing physically challenging activities needs lot of muscle strength and endurance, when you have poor strength; the stress starts coming on joints in motion and their degeneration starts faster.

Hiking in particular needs lot of muscle strength in quadriceps and hamstrings muscles of the knee. When these muscles are stronger they can take care of portion of load coming on the knee, this ensures improved physical performance, delayed fatigue and most importantly slowing down of joint wear out. 

These muscle groups along with calf and hip muscles are required for hiking and balancing. Weakness or tightness in any of these muscle structures causes undue stress on knee joint leading to knee pain.

What to do to avoid knee joint pain on trekking?

EXERCISE!
*     Follow these simple exercises daily at least once a day. Start with these exercises minimum 3 weeks before the trek to build muscle strength. For better results, start earliest and increase exercise intensity gradually.

Knee press: 
Keep a towel roll under your knee and press the knee down on a roll.




Straight leg raise: Lay flat on back, lift your leg straight up.

Side lying leg raise:In side lying pose, lift your upper leg straight up.

Hams curls: Lie on your stomach and bend your knee.

Sitting quadriceps contraction:
 
 Raise your lower leg up, while keeping the thigh steady.

Half squats: Squat down from knees but don’t go beyond 90 degrees. (Mini squats)

Wide squats

Front lunges:
Take wall support, bend your right knee while keeping left leg straight. Repeat with left leg.  


 Quads stretching:
Stand with support and pull thigh backwards from ankle, while keeping the back straight.

Hams stretching:   In long sitting pose, try to reach the toes keeping your back straight.


       FOOTWEAR!
*     Wear comfortable footwear while on hiking.

·        Choose pair of shoes which are light weight but give good stability on uneven terrain.
·        Medial arch support is recommended, as it gives stability to mid-foot and avoids excess strain on ankle muscles.
·        Nowadays, hiking shoes with ankle support are available, one can go for those as well to have greater stability. But you need to confirm that you are not having any pressure points over ankle or else you will end having shoe bites.
·        Check out for toe space. It is one of the very crucial aspects when buying shoes. You should be able to move your toes in the shoe when you are wearing it snugly.
·        Buying right pair of socks is definitely important. Socks should provide mid arch support. It will be a good idea to wear sports socks which are knee high.


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

What to look for in an office chair?

Average desk bound fellow spend 40 hours per week sitting in chair, they’d sum up to approximately 1900 hours over the course of a year. Multiply that by the average number of years a person works, and it’s easy to see that a large portion of one’s life is spent in an office chair.
Some people are spending more time in front of a computer than they spend sleeping. So, it only makes sense to have an office chair for both the office and the home that is comfortable and supportive.
Lower back Support: A good office chair will have support for the lower back. Some of the better ones will even have an adjustable lumbar support that allows the user to fit the chair to their lower back. This is important in preventing back strain and sciatic nerve irritation.
Adjustability:  The best office chairs have at least five adjustments.
Important features that should be adjustable include
*     Lumbar support
*     Arm width and height
*     Seat back width and height
*     Seat and back angle
There are many benefits to having a good office chair in addition to having less back strain. A good, supportive office chair prevents fatigue and discomfort that can come from sitting in the same chair for hours on end.
Tips to find right office chair:-
Chair owners should look for these things when purchasing new chairs:
  • The backrest should be adjustable and follow the shape of the spine. It should also support the curve in the lower back.
  • Feet should rest flat on the floor comfortably. If not, adjust the chair height or add a footrest.
  • Arm rests should be close the body and allow the shoulder to relax.
  • Arm height should be adjustable and match the height of the desk. This will prevent strain to the shoulders.
  • In a sitting position looking forward, the center of the computer screen is what should be seen.
  • The seat of the chair should be long enough to put two or three finger lengths between it and the knee.

Finding the right chair that is comfortable and keeps strain and injury from occurring is important for having happy & productive work life.