Joints are multifaceted structures in your organism that are designed to carry the weight of the entire body allowing it to move. Movement is required to keep your joints healthy; otherwise, they become stiff and the tissues around them atrophy and weaken. Exercise is the best way to keep these joints strong.
These are some tips to help keep your joints healthy:
Exercises and physical activities may help strengthen your joints without putting too much pressure on them.
- Cycling provides a more gentle pressure on the joints and can be done by people of all ages.
- Walking up and down the stairs strengthen the bones, muscles and joints of your lower body
- Swimming is shown to have helped improve the status of people diagnosed with joint problems.
Maintaining your ideal body weight
Too much weight adds more stress to your joints especially those that carry much of your body weight like your hips, back, knees and joints on your feet. Maintaining a normal body weight will do your joints a big favor.
Moving your body defends joints by strengthening the muscles around them. When your muscles are strong, your joints do not rub against each other, thus, avoiding the cartilage to wear down. Shifting positions regularly will lessen the stiffness in your muscles and joints. Strong muscles around the joints reduce the burden on these joints. Researches show that having frail thigh muscles increases the risk of arthritis of the knees.
Practicing good posture will help distribute even amount of weight to your joints, thus back pains and muscle pains are avoided. In addition, practicing proper body mechanics will also minimize injuries to your joints. Using big joints when carrying or lifting heavy equipment will help you avoid injury and strain. So you might want to bend from the knees when picking up something from the floor instead of bending on your waist.
Give your joints a break
Allow your joints to rest after using them for a heavy activity. Abusing your joints with repetitive stress for extended periods of time can hasten the wear and tear of your joints. It is always best to alternate activity with rest to give time for your joints to recharge and gather strength. Muscle pain is expected after a strenuous activity like exercise, but if the pain lasts longer than 48 hours, you may have abused your joints a little more; give your joints time to rest and regain strength.
Pay attention to pain or discomfort
Listen to your body and never ignore feelings of pain and discomfort as they may indicate serious joint conditions like arthritis. Most people disregard pain especially those that they think may only be secondary to stress only to find out that a more serious condition is manifesting. Keep it a habit to listen to whatever your body has to say, it may spare you from a much more unwanted health condition.
Don’t participate in activities that your body cannot handle. Learn how your body reacts to a specific activity by starting slow. This will minimize the possibilities of injury. Wear appropriate equipment to protect your joints like knee pads, helmets and wrist pads. Use comfortable and fitting safety gear.
Select foods that will help improve the health of your joints. Fish Oil helps combat inflammation which is mostly linked to joint diseases. Antioxidants you acquire from fruits and vegetables help improve the health of your connective tissues. Calcium and vitamin D that you get from drinking milk will help keep your bones strong. Strong bones can keep you standing on your feet and avoid falls that can harm your joints. Dairy products such as milk and cheese as well as green leafy vegetables such as broccoli are good sources of calcium. If you do not get sufficient calcium in your nutrition, you may want to consider taking in supplements.
Taking good care of your joints and keeping them strong is one thing that should not be taken for granted. You may not realize its significance when you’re feeling healthy; but you sure would want to go back in time when you’re already in your 60’s and those joints begin to give up on you.