Enjoying (and staying fit) during spring and summer is about getting out to do what you love – pain free. Whether you're hiking up Icicle Ridge or walking the Ski Hill loop, your enjoyment is closely related to being able to hike, walk or run up and down hill. Welcome to the Upper Valley! ... (Lots of fun, but not much flat ground around here.)
So, how about those knees?
Here are some tips on preventing pain and strain while enjoying the Cascades:
1. Reduce Impact
Impact is the force that moves up the leg upon initial contact with the ground during each step. (THUD!) Since Force equals mass x acceleration, body weight and speed of descent are important variables, which affect impact. Plus, on a declining slope, you're likely to land on the rear of your heel, as compared to the moving up-slope, where you land on the toes and forefoot. Picture jumping up and down on your heels while barefoot (Ouch!) There's less opportunity to absorb impact through the foot and ankle when landing on your heels.