Our joints are what allow us to move our incredible skeletal structure around. How active we are in life is directly dependent on the functionality of our joints. Over half a billion people worldwide are affected by osteoarthritis and that number is steadily growing. Here are some tips for healthy joints that will allow you to enjoy a long active life well into your elderly years:
1. Regular Exercise
Maintaining an active lifestyle will increase blood flow to your joints which in turn conditions your body’s regeneration mechanisms. Resistance exercise, especially weight lifting, helps to strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints thus preventing the bones from rubbing against each other and putting extra stress on your cartilage. However, the absolute best thing regular exercise can do for your joints is to keep your weight down. Just keeping your weight close to the ideal weight for someone of your height and body type goes a long weight to preserving your joints. The more you weigh, the more unnecessary stress you put on your joints. Your hips, knees, feet, and back are what support this extra weight and are the first to wither as you age. If you are already suffering from joint problems and they are severe enough you need a walking aid you can always do water aerobics which are much easier on the joints.
2. Healthy Eating
Eat a healthy diet of fish, nuts, or take a supplement of flax-seed oil to get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are essential fats that lubricate your joints and can actually help relieve pain and morning stiffness for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. A dosage of 500 mg of these fatty acids on a daily basis is effective and will go a long way to keeping you active throughout your life.
Nobody’s says you are supposed to be able to walk a tight rope but it is good for you down the road to walk with your head high and you’re back straight. If you tend to slump or slouch your back, head, and neck it’s going to have an effect on your joints overtime. Carrying yourself with good posture protects your neck, knees, hips, and shoulders from withering because it trains the muscles that surround your joints to hold them in proper place. If you slump a lot then eventually your muscles are going to adjust to that position and inhibit you from moving properly.
Your feet are what support your entire body and consist of quite possibly your most important joints. Your feet can affect everything above them by simply having an awkward pronation, wrong size of shoe, or repeated heavy impact. Your feet have the task of carrying you through life and they should definitely be taken care of. Make sure your feet are always properly supported with the right size shoe with the properly fitted sole. If you are trying to be active your shoes are all the more important because faulty foot mechanics, especially when exercising, can throw of your joints and therefore your body to greater extent overtime.
This one comes as surprise to a lot of people but clothing can greatly affect your joints by inhibiting how you are able to move. When you are exercising make sure your clothing is loose. Not loose to the point where it’s baggy but loose enough for you to move comfortably. This is a problem mostly with construction workers or hard laborers who tend to wear constricting jeans to work and often carry around awkward or heavy tool belts. Clothing may not seem lie it is slowing you down that first day but overtime it can cause your joints to lose flexibility and mobility. Buy loose jeans with a belt and balance out the tool belt while you are at work to keep those bones strong. If you are exercising support and elasticity are best so that you can still move freely.
Your joints are the main functioning mechanisms of your body. Preserving them at an early age will make you much better off when you are older. Even when you’re older it’s never too late to start taking care of your bones. The longer you take care of them, the longer they’ll take care of you.
We hope you enjoyed these tips for healthy joints and now it’s time to take action and move!
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