February 4th, 2009

duke-juggle

Knees, Snowboarding, and Such

I couldn't fall asleep last night, so at 2am I pulled out my laptop and, spooning with the cat in my heated bed, we read up on treatments for damaged knee cartilage. We weren't too pleased with any of the answers, but I'm thinking that perhaps I should try supplements. These are things I found mentioned in a study, saving for my own future reference: glucosamine (1500 mg), chondroitin sulfate (1200 mg), Celecoxib / Celebrex.

I had a blast skiing last week (and still need to write up a report of my awesome vacation!), but my left knee did not enjoy it as much as the rest of me did. (Even with the rooster injections -- actually I'm not sure that those did much of anything. It's hard to tell, since skiing is not something I do regularly enough to compare.) I didn't injure it or anything, which is good, but the act of skiing left it swollen and sore enough that I was limping significantly when walking around afterward.

We met a British couple at an apres ski, both of whom are "boarders". Snowboarders, that is, but that's not a cool enough word I guess. The guy said that snowboarding is much easier on the knees than skiing, because there is little-to-no twisting action. He also joked that while skiing is a sport, snowboarding is a lifestyle. I can see that!

I've never much liked the idea of snowboarding, because while they look cool going down a mountain, they look kind of hobbled and clumsy otherwise. Dragging that big board around on one foot, sitting on their butts in the snow to strap back in. However now I'm starting to reconsider. If it's easier on my knee, maybe that's the answer to having fun on snowy mountains with my friends without getting hurt. I'm only 37, but I think my knee is more like 57. I don't want to give up recreational sports, but I do need to find a way to enjoy them pain-free. Or at least mostly pain-free. So I'll give it a shot.... I've convinced M to try renting a snowboard and taking a lesson with me. I can at least find out if the act of boarding is gentler on my knee cartilage, then decide if I actually want to switch from a sport to a lifestyle or not....

This morning I had trouble getting up for work. What a surprise, after being up half the night! After great struggle, I dragged myself out of bed, forced a bowl of cereal down my throat, and hurried through the shower. My car is only a few dozen feet from my porch, but it's 8 degrees fahrenheit outside. By the time I settled myself at the steering wheel, my hair had frozen. Crunchy...brrr!
centro

Trainer

Speaking of knees, I went out after work yesterday and bought myself a shiny new bicycle trainer! I have been told (again and again) that my beloved treadmill is not the best exercise for bad knees. But I love having easily-available exercise right in front of the TV... The more convenient an exercise is, the more likely I am to actually do it.

I like biking outside (when it's warm out), so hopefully this will be a good compromise. Also it should make the spring transition to my bike that much easier! Hopefully.
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