Healthy joints ensure a healthy self. No matter age or size, strong and well-functioning joints allow you to move freely. They aid you in walking, running, jogging, jumping, dancing, doing hardcore exercises, playing sports – you name it. However, as you age, your bones become weak, and your joints stiffer. This prevents you from performing all those activities that your young joints could enable you to do. Even though you can’t prevent joint injuries from occurring or avoid certain joint diseases such as arthritis, there are some things you can do to protect your joints as you age.
1. Keeping a Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight can be detrimental to your joint health. It puts unnecessary strain on your back, knees, hips, and ankles. Research shows that, with every extra pound you gain, your joints pile on four additional pounds. This puts a lot of stress on your joints as they bear the weight of your whole body. However, maintaining a healthy weight can limit pressure on your joints and prevents joint fractures in the future.
2. Walk Daily
You’re never too old or too young to get out and enjoy a vigorous walk. It’s the easiest form of exercise that offers a plethora of health benefits, including improved joint mobility. As you grow old, your joints become less flexible. And one of the best ways to improve your joint health at this age is to walk regularly. This will prevent your joints from rusting away and facilitate you in doing all the things that you love to do.
It’s up to you when you choose to walk. It depends on your personal preference. Some people enjoy walking in the fresh early morning while others prefer it doing in the evening or after a heavy snack or dinner.
3. Skip Pre-Workout Stretching
Stretching is often confused with warming up. But these two are different from each other. Sure, warming up helps prepare your body for a rigorous exercise, but stretching before an upcoming workout may end up weakening your joints.
Contrary to popular beliefs, stretching won’t prevent injury no matter what you do. Despite stretching countless times, you may still be at risk of suffering from a sprain or strain, hindering your movement completely.
4. Maintain a Healthy Diet
One of the best ways to improve your joint health is having these superfoods as part of your diet plan:
- Fish Oils- Fish oils are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help maintain your overall health, including the health of your joints. Salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, and halibut are packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Apart from improving joint health, fish oils help reduce diabetes, body inflammation, and heart disease.
- Nuts and Seeds- Have pine nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, and walnuts in small portions on a daily basis to reduce the weakening of the joints. Eating these nuts and seeds daily also helps reduce severe joint pain.
- Berries- Berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are rich sources of antioxidants, which, in turn, help keep joints healthy and fit. Other colorful fruits that are great for your joints are grapes, watermelon, cherries, and avocado.
- Garlic and Onions- Both garlic and onions contain certain natural ingredients that can aid in improving your joint health. For example, garlic has “allicin” that prevents the risk of joint disease such as arthritis. On the other hand, onions are high in antioxidants that prevent joint pain.
- Beans and Lentils- Beans and lentils are loaded with essential nutrients – fiber, protein, and minerals. They also boast anti-inflammatory properties that prevent body inflammation from rising. Some types of beans and lentils you should eat daily are red or black beans, soybeans, or chickpeas.
5. Maintain a Good Posture
If you want healthy joints, then pay attention to your posture. Poor posturing can cause body pain, joint degeneration, and spinal dysfunction. Always sit straight. When walking, ensure your back, shoulders, and spine are straight, too. If you work or study at a desk, make sure to take a stretch break every hour. This relieves body pain or aches and helps to readjust your posture. Swimming or exercises such as child’s pose, forward fold, or high/side planks also help to improve the posture.
6. Take Your Multivitamins
Taking supplements help add nutrients that may otherwise lack in your diet. Strong joints benefit from nutrients such as vitamins C, E, K, calcium, folic acid, and others. Taking multivitamins daily will ensure your joints stay active and flexible!
7. Cut Down on Caffeine
Your daily dose of caffeine may give you that extra jolt of energy in the morning, but make sure you don’t have more than two or three cups of tea or coffee daily. Several studies show that excessive consumption of caffeine can weaken your bones and joints.
8. Visit a Doctor
If you have injured your joint in some way, seek medical help right away. Delaying diagnoses or treatments can worsen your condition. Also, avoid too much activity or handling weighty objects if your joint is hurt or damaged. This will only make things worse for you. Remember, injuries, especially a joint injury, require time to heal, so rest, and limit your movements until you are fully recovered.
If you follow the above-mentioned ways to improve your joint health, you can stay physically fit and strong in every decade of your life. You won’t have to worry about health concerns such as getting “weak in the knees,” having poor stamina and reduced energy, feeling tired quickly after doing a small physical activity, and the likes!