8 Tips to Keep Your Joints Healthy
Most people think that regular strength and cardio exercise is the best way to keep the body in top shape. However, joint health is just as important for overall health, especially when it comes to aging. Your joints and bones will play a significant role as you age in your mobility and how active you will be as an older individual.
There is more to joint health than just exercising. In fact, exercising is just one of the many components that keep your joints healthy. It’s natural that as we age, our bodies go through several stages of wear and tear, so it’s important to take care of our entire body, including our joints.
We have researched and created a list of the best tips below to help you in keeping your joints as healthy as possible!
1. Manage Your Weight
You probably knew it was coming, but because it is such a huge factor in joint health (and tons of other areas of health), losing some weight is at the top of our list. When you carry extra pounds on your body, you are creating excess workload for joints that were not meant to regularly support the extra pressure and force you’re bearing on them.
We know how difficult it is to lose weight, but every little bit helps in big ways when it comes to your joint health. In fact, you can relieve up to four pounds of pressure off of your knees just by losing one pound. Losing weight not only helps your knees, but your back and hips will also be thankful for the effort.
2. Take Supplements Specific to Joint Health
If you are suffering from occasional joint aches or if stiff joints are preventing you from enjoying some of the more demanding activities you used to love doing, then we suggest you look into supplements for joint health. Even castor oil has been known to help with soothing stiff and achy joints.
Vitamin D is another helpful joint supplement that works to support joints by keeping your bones strong, reducing some pressure and discomfort on your joints as well as reducing your chances of injury when falling. Vitamin D also has a host of other benefits including supporting your heart, brain health, lungs, and even your teeth.
Green tea and maqui berry are two other great sources for getting powerful antioxidants with soothing properties that can help to alleviate joint discomfort.
3. Work Toward Greater Flexibility
Stretching is a great way to improve your flexibility and doing so every day will increase movement in your joints. If you tend to sit a lot for your job or just while relaxing and watching TV, then you should try to get up and stretch every hour or so at the least. Our joints tend to get stiff the longer we sit.
The goal is to keep your body moving and your joints flexible, especially if you have arthritis. To experience less stiffness, you need to move more.
Don’t overstretch when your muscles are stiff and cold, take a brief walk to warm up before starting a more intensive stretching regimen.
4. Start a Regular Exercise Routine
You should consider adding an exercise routine to your ongoing journey to better joint health. Believe it or not, stronger muscles in your back and abs can help you immensely with balance and overall posture, two key factors to maintaining good joint support.
Yoga is great for any level of fitness and can really help improve your joint health due to the flexibility you can gain from it. The slow movements and core strengthening exercises help you build a stronger body. Pilates is also another great way to both add in strengthening and stretching into one routine.
5. Add Omega-3’s and Vitamin D to Your Diet
Just adding omega-3 fatty acids (ex: salmon, mackerel, etc.) can help improve your joint health and reduce inflammation pathways surrounding your joints. Don’t like fish? Opt for supplementing your omega-3’s with fish oil capsules.
Don’t forget your dairy, either -- both vitamin D and calcium can help with your joints. If you’re not a fan of dairy products or you’re lactose intolerant, add more greens to your diet. Kale and broccoli along with other leafy vegetables have plenty of joint-supporting nutrients packed in those little leaves.
6. Fix Your Posture
Do you tend to bend over a lot or lean on tables or desks while sitting? This could be impacting your joint health in more ways than one. It’s important to sit up straight, and that goes for standing, too. This will help protect almost all your joints from your knees up to your neck. Do you suffer from stiff necks often? This could be why, so stand and sit up straight!
7. Know Your Limits
Knowing your strength is more than just gym talk, it actually applies to joint health because when you lift or carry things that are too heavy, you are putting more strain on your muscles and joints than what they can handle.
Finding ways to do effective exercises safely will benefit you in the long run and help keep your joints healthy.
If you are still experiencing pain a few days after exercise or after carrying heavy objects, then you probably went too far and need to re-evaluate what your limits are. Never try to push through the pain, this only makes matters worse. Allow your muscles and joints to rest and recover for a few days before getting back into the swing of a workout or general heavy lifting.
8. Accommodate Yourself As Needed
As we age, our joints naturally become less flexible, and even when exercising and keeping your body in good physical condition, other concerns like arthritis might dictate your abilities.
Make necessary changes to furniture as needed, such as the height of your bed if you’re struggling to get in and out on a regular basis. There are plenty of ways to reduce your reaching, bending, or stooping in order to protect your joints and avoid pain where you can.
Make your life more accessible where you can and ask for help when needed. Taking care of yourself and preventing injuries is very important in protecting your joints.
Taking care of your joints should be a priority, and dealing with any injuries or joint pain is essential to maintaining a stronger body. If you do experience a joint injury, be sure to seek medical attention immediately because joint injuries tend to break down cartilage and tissues, making recovery more difficult if left unattended to.
It’s also important to simplify your life as much as possible and try to put the least amount of stress on your joints as you can, even when it comes to working out and regular day to day activities. Only take on what you know you can handle and always put your health first. Find an exercise regimen that works for you and makes you feel good about your efforts in keeping your joints and your body healthy.
Don’t forget a trusty joint supplement either -- it’s an effortless way to give your joints the nutrients they need to stay strong, mobile, and ache-free.