Joints are vital for maintaining locomotion and overall mobility of the body. Unfortunately, due to modern lifestyle, fast food diets and lack of awareness, more and more people are falling prey to joint problems which most of the time aggravate further to cause severe inflammation and arthritis.
However, with appropriate exercises, wholesome diet and adequate knowledge, one can escape affliction from joint problems and keep them healthy and functional throughout life. The following are Tips to keep your joints healthy and to improve the general quality of your life and well-being. Read on to find important points to always keep yourself in good stead and moving about.
Exercise to protect and strengthen your joints
Exercise is one of the best ways to protect and strengthen your joints. In addition to this, exercise help building the muscles and helping in weight loss as well. Some of the workout activities such as squats and lunges as well as exercises with certain weights can bolster the quadriceps and helps curtailing the pressure on the knees.
Moreover, walking is also another excellent activity that helps to strengthen joints and muscles. However, excessive and other high-intensity exercises can damage joins and ligaments, so it is important to practice discretion.
Stretch and warm up prior to exercising
It is very important to warm up and stretch yourself properly before doing your regular workout schedule. Warming up allows tendons to flex and become supple and help muscles to loosen up before they could undergo heavy tasks. Warming up with light stretching can also improve blood circulation and heart rate, thus preparing the body.
Problems such as tendon damage and inflammation of tendons, known as tendonitis is associated with body building and weight lifting. Thus, this type of joint problems can be reduced through warming up and it also make the muscles more flexible before adding weight over them.
Continued burden over the same muscles and tendons by doing same exercises over a period of time can also damage the joints. Thus, make sure you change your routine workout in between to reduce the harm. Note that exercises such as kick boxing and aerobics have a harder impact on your muscles and joints than lighter alternatives like yoga and water-based work-outs.
It is important to keep passion and dedication clearly separated in your mind. Some people, in order to achieve quicker results tend to over-exercise which can lead to severe joint damage. It is necessary to give sufficient rest to your body and allow it to recuperate rather that keeping it engaged in workout for most of the time. Rest is a critical parameter in helping muscles, tendons and joints to strengthen rather than over-exercising.
Extra weight on the body can also be detrimental for the health of ligaments and joints, putting unnecessary pressure. Thus, if you are over-weight or have more weight corresponding to the other parameters of your body like height then first concentrate on reducing that extra mass. Reducing weight even as little as 10 kilograms can significantly help to lower pain, improves breathing and enhances blood circulation.
Understand the value of omega-3 fatty acids
Omega fatty acids, whether Omega 3 or Omega 6 are well known to have significant health benefits. Omega 3 fatty acids are primarily found in fish as well as some nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds while Omega 6 are found in vegetables such as corn and its oil. The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega 3 are widely known and accepted but the acid also has amazing effect on bone formation, especially for improving bone mineral density as well as health of the hips. Doctors recommend eating salmon twice a week for keeping the healthy levels of Omega 3 in the body.
Get your D
Vitamin D, also called the Sun Vitamin, is essential to maintain a healthy proportion of calcium and phosphate in the blood and it also helps in growth, breaking down and building up of bones. Lack of Vitamin D leads to weakening of bones, causing various afflictions like osteoporosis and osteomalacia, which cause terrible pain in bones.
But the effect of lack of Vitamin D is not restricted to bones only. It extends even to muscles, weakening it which can cause falls and fractures. The best way to get vitamin D is to expose the skin to sunlight. However, during winters or with the application of sunscreen, the effect of sunlight do not reach the body. Thus, it is best to take supplements which can fulfill the deficiency caused due to lack of exposure to sunlight.
Evaluate your shoes
It is of vital concern to wear proper footwear as a part of maintaining healthy joints and muscles. Women who wear high heels have a significantly higher chance of developing joints pain in the feet.
If you need to wear heels in any case, heels lower than 3 inches are best for joint and muscular health. Moreover, it is important to have a proper room for your shoes to have enough space to accommodate movement and arching. Also some cushion support, especially under the ball and heel area is also recommended.
If you have to remain in same position for a long period in time then it is advisable to change your position at regular intervals. Sitting and standing all day long can strain your joints. Getting up and moving about give rest to joints and also improve blood circulation. It also helps to keep body well in shape.
Regular smokers tend to have lower bone density and higher risk of fractures than ordinary people. Smoking also related to lower calcium absorption as well as curtailed level of hormone production like estrogen and testosterone which in turn affect the bone growth and density.
Stay in Motion
The modern lifestyle has restricted our movements to such an extent that it has led to several detrimental effects on our joints, even causing severe afflictions like arthritis. Human body is designed more for movement and action rather than sitting at one place with restricted activity.
If your job or lifestyle involve restricted movement then make sure to change your position often and keep your body in motion. This also keep the circulation well in place and keep joints and muscles healthy. It is also equally important to watch your posture while you sit which can have appreciable impact on your joints.
Sport injuries are a significant part of the damage of joints and muscles. Therefore always pad up whenever you are embarking upon skating or other contact sports. If you are already afflicted by joint pain then it is a good idea to wear braces when playing sports like golf or tennis.
In choosing exercise to generally keep you fit and healthy, make sure to choose those which have a low impact on your joints. The simple and effective activities like walking, bicycling, swimming etc.
Power up Your Core
Joints and bones help frame overall body and helps in locomotion. However, muscles play and equally active part in sharing the burden of joints and supporting them. Thus, it is very important to concentrate on muscle build as well. Focus on your core areas such as abdomen, back and hips and strengthen them. Yoga and Pilates are great for the overall conditioning and workout of the body.
Keep Your Bones Strong
For healthy joints, it is important to keep your bones strong as well. Have plenty of Vitamin D and calcium in your diet. Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are good sources of calcium.
Options other than dairy products are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale. While it is important to get your nutrients in as natural form as possible if that somehow is not viable then ask your doctor to prescribe supplements appropriate for fulfilling the nutrient requirement of your body.