Do you wake up with occasionally stiff or creaky joints? If so, there are things you can do to keep them from slowing down your day. An integrative approach to joint health, including healthy lifestyle habits, can help you maintain proper mobility and flexibility throughout your day.
The morning is a great time to start good habits that can set the tone for the day. It also makes it easier to integrate new changes and stick with them, so you can enjoy optimal joint health every morning and throughout the day.
1. Drink Water
Drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up. Your body loses water as you sleep. Starting your day with a glass of water helps to replenish what you’ve lost, maintaining the hydration that your body and joints need. Staying hydrated helps reduce occasional oxidative stress in the joints, and because the synovial fluid that helps lubricate joints is primarily made of water, proper hydration can help promote optimal flexibility and mobility.
The body has been at rest during sleep, so you want to gently wake your joints with light stretching. Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles, allowing them to relax, and allows the synovial fluid to move around within the joints to reduce occasional stiffness. Simple stretches you can try before even getting out of bed include:
♦ Bringing your knees into your chest to stretch your back
♦ Slightly lifting your legs and circling your ankles in both directions
♦ Rocking your knees side-to-side to get your hips moving
♦ Sitting up and rolling your shoulders forward and backward
♦ Holding your arms out in front of you and flexing your arms and then wrists
3. Get Moving
Mornings make an ideal time to exercise, and your body will be all warmed up and ready to go after stretching. You only need thirty minutes a day, and you have your choice of joint-supporting exercises like swimming, cycling, walking, strength training, and yoga. Regular exercise also helps the body manage everyday stress and promotes a sense of calm and focus for the day ahead.
Regular physical activity promotes flexibility, mobility, and balance by maintaining strong muscles and supports healthy bone structure and density. Starting your day with exercise can help get your joints moving, making it easier to manage occasional joint stiffness and discomfort. It also wakes up your metabolism to support healthy weight management.
4. Take a Warm Shower
Once your workout is complete, take a warm shower. This is one of the best ways to help relieve occasional morning stiffness. It also helps soothe muscles after your workout, as the heat causes the blood to move to the surface of the skin, expanding your blood vessels to allow more blood and oxygen to flow. This increased circulation helps to relax your muscles. The combination of exercise and a warm shower will have your joints and you ready to hit the ground running every day.
5. Eat a Nutrient-Rich Breakfast
Because diet is one of the most important lifestyle factors influencing joint health, your breakfast choices are important. It is important to avoid foods high in sugars and processed flour. Choose meals that contain nutrients that help support joint health, such as:
♦ Omega-3 fatty acids (nuts and seeds)
♦ Vitamin E (avocado)
♦ Vitamin A (spinach)
♦ Vitamin C (citrus fruits)
♦ Potassium (bananas)
♦ Anthocyanins (berries)
♦ Calcium (yogurt)
♦ Turmeric (easily added to pancakes or omelets)
A morning smoothie is an easy way to get plenty of nutrients in one place. Try the recipe below for a delicious way to nourish your joints for a busy day ahead.
½ cup peeled, diced carrot
½ frozen banana, diced
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½ inch fresh ginger, peeled
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch black pepper (to promote the absorption of turmeric)
Simply blend the carrot, banana, pineapple, orange juice, ginger, and chia seeds together. Then add the turmeric and black pepper, blending until smooth. Drink right away.
Your joints work hard to get you from A to B every day, possibly with a few stops in between. Maintaining proper mobility, flexibility, and balance so that you can move through each day without the worry of creaky joints and occasional discomfort requires the right joint-supporting nutrients.
In addition to the five morning habits above, give your joints a little extra support with the naturally-sourced ingredients found in 1MD Nutrition’s MoveMD®.
MoveMD® is a comprehensive joint health solution that includes AprésFlex® Boswellia serrata, a clinically-studied extract that supports flexibility, mobility, and joint comfort. This is combined with Zanthin® Natural Astaxanthin to help reduce typical oxidative stress, hyaluronic acid to help lubricate joints, and advanced collagens to support cartilage health and function.
An integrative approach to joint health is the best way to support long-term mobility and quality of life. These joint-supporting habits can help you establish a morning routine that provides balanced nutrition, regular exercise, everyday stress management tools, and the supplemental support of MoveMD® for proper joint function. Your best joint health starts with a good morning.
Dr. Adam Kreitenberg
Dr. Adam Kreitenberg is dual board-certified in both rheumatology and internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine internship, residency, and rheumatology fellowship at the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County Medical Center.