4 Easy Ways to Support Your Joints and Joint Health
7 minute read
You are likely aware of the major joints in your body, but there are actually hundreds. Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they are not there.
(The exact number can vary based on the definition used and the age of the person in question.)
With such an abundance in your body, it makes sense that joint health should be a priority to you. Painful joints affect millions of Americans, so the spotlight turns to what we can do better to improve our joint heath.
The Power of Joints
Most of what you do everyday involves your joints without you even thinking about them. When you stop to think about it; you are never not using them. Therefore, any discomfort or injury can seriously compromise your activities.
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Anybody can experience joint pain, although it does seem to get worse and more likely with age. As we get older, our bodies lose the ability to lubricate the joints as effectively, which weakens them.
In addition to getting older, we place great strain on our joints every day. You can easily damage them through exercise, poor nutrition, and by putting your body through unnecessary stress.
Even if you are not currently experiencing joint pain, caring for your joints is not something to gloss over. Here are several helpful tips to keep your joints in optimal health, so you can avoid any serious pains later.
Exercises for Joint Health
When it comes to exercising your joints, the focus needs to be on flexibility and core strength. Strong, flexible muscles support your joints. By strengthening certain muscle groups, you can provide serious support to your joints.
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Exercise and strength training can even benefit those already suffering from joint pain or arthritis. Working with weights or resistance bands is one way to go, but there are other exercises that will give your joints the support they need. And don’t forget to warm up before any exercise to help avoid injury.
Walking: Walking is not only free, and you can do it anywhere, it is a wonderful way to give your joints movement. It also maintains muscle strength in your legs, feet, and core.
Swimming or cycling: These are both fun, low-impact activities that strengthen your body and stretch your joints without too much stress. The cardiovascular support you get from these both being aerobic exercises is an added health bonus.
Stretching: This needs to be done frequently to be beneficial, but it can relieve pressure from your joints as well as increase flexibility and range of movement.
Be active: You don’t always need to be at the gym or do a hardcore workout to help your joints. Staying active through the day is just as beneficial. Do some extra cleaning in the yard, take the stairs instead of the escalator, take the long way around when you take the trash out, and wash your car by hand.
Eat the Right Foods
There is truth to the phrase “you are what you eat.” Your diet has an impact on your overall health, and there are certain nutrients that are beneficial to healthy joint lubrication and cartilage.
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Including these can make a real difference to the efficiency and health of your joints:
Omega-3 fatty acids: Mostly advertised as beneficial for heart and brain health, omega-3 fatty acids are also very good for your joints. These fatty acids help prevent inflammation which plagues joint health and can cause severe damage to cartilage. You can find these in fish, walnuts, chia seeds, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin D: This vitamin aids in the absorption of calcium which is a major component of bones and teeth. Find this essential joint vitamin in dairy, liver, egg yolks, most seafood, and fortified foods.
Antioxidants: Free radicals can cause considerable damage to cartilage tissue and joint health, and antioxidant-rich foods are the best option for scavenging these harmful compounds.
Red peppers, citrus fruits, kale, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are ideal sources for the powerful antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E. Antioxidants are also a major ingredient in joint health supplements.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Proper weight management is essential for making sure your joints are never under too much pressure. Walking can put 2 to 10 times the force of your body weight on your knees. So, you can imagine how much force your knees take on the heavier you are.
The best approach to maintaining a healthy weight is to avoid sugars and processed foods and include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
You are not alone if you understand the struggles of eating a balanced diet in today’s hectic world. Therefore, supplements are a wonderful invention. Supplemental nutrition can provide joint support in the event your diet is lacking key ingredients.
Beyond supporting joint health, supplements can also help manage the chronic pain often associated with joint conditions. Natural painkillers, like Boswellia Serrata, can help reduce discomfort without the side effects associated with medicines like aspirin.
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Glucosamine is not found in food sources, but is an amino sugar naturally found in your body. As a precursor in the biosynthesis of cartilage, this helps ensure the lining of your joints is in optimal condition.
The Bottom Line
You rely on your joints everyday, and you won’t get far without them. Dietary changes, exercise, and lifestyle choices can help to keep your joints healthier for longer.
Talk to your doctor about possible supplements for joint health and dust off your sneakers to start taking steps in the right direction. Once you get moving, there will be a definite spring to your step, and you joints will rejoice rather than recoil in pain.