Wednesday, May 25, 2011

10 ways to honor your knees

Happy feet!

I am no expert on this matter. In fact, I'm feeling more than a little ignorant on the subject. But I'm committed to loving my knees (and all of my body, for that matter) enough to create a better practice of caring for it. Here are 10 things I've been practicing that are truly helping with the survival of my knees on this strenuous trek across the U.S. Got advice, knowledge, tips or expertise? Dear lord, do share! Let's get this convo going...

1. Live this rhyme: Ease over speed, please! (Ride on easy gears with at least 60 RPMs at. all. times.)
2. Stretch 10 minutes per every riding hour. This website has cute & helpful drawings with recommended stretches for before & after riding. Yummy.
3. Stop eating massive amounts of cheese and sugar; infamous joint swellers. Eat more veggies, non-animal protein, whole grains, and drink LOTS of fresh water.
4. Get the strap. (I could not bike without it).
5. Gently massage any tightness in your hips and quads every night before bed.
6. Give both your knees kisses goodnight. Positive mojo matters, people.
7. Ice for 20 minutes right after riding when feeling especially swollen.
8. If swollen in the morning, take two Ibuprofen 20 minutes before riding.
9. Lighten your load. Even more than you already have.
10. Make it a life-goal to never need knee surgery. Then get going with these practices!
and one more for good luck...
*11. Treat yourself to the gift of working with a professional. That's right. Schedule an appointment with a physical therapist, personal trainer, physical healer, what-have-you. Love your knees that much. They'll feel the difference.

What are your tried & true resources for loving & caring for your precious knees? I'm waiting eagerly for your genius to show...


  1. Hi Rachael, it's Tara Castro from way back in the day at Clemens Crossing. :)

    I hope your big adventure is going safely and smoothly! As far as knees go, having core strength helps keep knees healthy because it improves stability when walking/running/skipping/frolicking.

    As far as your travels go, I live next to Ocean Beach in SF, so if you're in the area, it'd be great to meet up and say hi and I'll treat you and Brian to some delicious food in the Outer Sunset. :) Good luck on your trip!!!


  2. Kombucha "tea" works wonders! I brew my own instead of paying $3/bottle, but it would defeat the purpose if you hauled a kombucha crock on your bike :) I can tell if I've gone too many days w/o out drinking it - I can hear "Crak!" "Pop!" when I get up from a sitting position :p

    The homeopathic remedy arnica (external or internally taken) is MAGIC for muscles and swelling. It's my go-to remedy for sprained ankles and sore muscles so I'm sure it would work on knees, too!

    Glad you're being good to yourself. Have fun & be careful out there :)

  3. Hope those knees are holding up you guys! I got hit in the knee with a snowboard in January and have been rehabing ever since so I'm with you on the importance of knees! Massaging is key, and make sure you massage your hamstrings, calves and shins as well as quads and hips so you get all the muscles around the joint. And if anyone you stay with has a rolling pin...roll out those legs. Seems weird, but feels great! :)

  4. Keep them warm if it's cold out. Probably not a problem most days for you. High rpm and low gears are also important to keep the stress as low as possible.
    Also, never assume a driver sees you!
    Mat Leibensperger connected us. See you if you get to Corvallis, OR!

  5. not necessarily for the knees, but an ice bath after a long, hot day is awesome.