Tips for Keeping Your Joints Healthy and Strong
When it comes to joint health and keeping your joints healthy, most of us don’t give it much thought until it’s too late. But your joints deserve care and attention long before prevailing issues start to arise.
Prevention really is the best medicine here.
So, if you want to stay mobile and comfortable, consider the following seven tips for keeping your joints healthy and strong.
Did you know that 80 percent of the cartilage in your body is made of water? This is the connective tissue that cushions your joints.
When you’re dehydrated, your body takes water from your cartilage and sends it to vital organs instead.
This can cause serious damage to your joints. Focus on drinking more plain water and avoiding soda or energy drinks.
Reduce Stress Caused by Weight
Carrying excess body weight (as well as being underweight) puts unnecessary stress on your joints.
Just an additional 10 pounds will add between 20 to 40 pounds of force to each knee.
Those who are underweight risk being unable to maintain joint strength and stability by lacking sufficient muscle bulk.
Fortunately, maintaining a healthy weight is far from impossible. Start by following a healthy diet filled with anti-inflammatory foods that can also keep symptoms of arthritis under control.
Many sources recommend a Mediterranean diet for this purpose. Exercise is just as important.
People with joint issues often avoid exercise as they believe that it will cause further damage and increase pain.
However, movement can reduce stiffness and strengthen the muscles that surround your joints. Also, it can help you maintain a healthy weight.
You don’t need to participate in anything overly strenuous. Low-impact activities such as cycling, swimming, Pilates, and yoga are all great options.
The benefits of exercise extend far beyond what it can do for your joints, so be sure to keep moving.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
Before you jump into the pool or hop onto a treadmill, don’t forget the importance of warming up.
Skipping your stretches can increase the risk of strain and overload on your joints.
Stretching after exercise is important for returning your muscles to their optimal length-tension relationships.
Remember to focus on the parts of your body you’ll be using during your workout.
There are a number of natural supplements available that can help your body maintain the health of your joints.
This includes vitamin D and calcium. Another vital part of your cartilage is collagen, which keeps connective tissue strong and protects your joints from damage.
There are several types of collagen you can supplement your diet with.
In doing so, you can not only reduce joint pain and symptoms of arthritis but also improve gut health. You can strengthen your bones and enhance the appearance of your skin.
Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C can also help.
Additionally, you can consider polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can reduce cartilage breakdown and inflammation.
Smoking is known to increase the risk of bone fractures and conditions such as osteoporosis.
Not only that, but smoking can increase your chances of injuries involving tendonitis or bursitis.
Higher risk of back pain and rheumatoid arthritis has also been linked to smokers. It’s not easy to quit, but planning ahead and seeking support can help you succeed.
Practice Joint Protection Habits
Following the principles that contribute to joint protection can help you decrease pain and reduce the amount of stress put into your joints.
This includes using assistive devices and mobility aids, paying attention to pain signals, avoiding stress-inducing activities and getting enough rest.
Following the above tips can go a long way in keeping your joints healthy and strong. I know that I try to do them because, over the years, I’ve felt my joints take a beating.
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Ultimately, it all comes down to taking care of your body. Remember this, and you can easily avoid joint issues moving forward.
Do you have any tips for keeping your joints healthy and strong?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.