Joints are what connect your bones throughout the body like at your elbows, knees, neck, and more. Healthy joints make it easy to bend and move around. However, as you age, your joints age with you and can result in pain and restricted movement. To slow the process of joint deterioration, use these techniques to keep them healthy.
Exercise is important for your physical health. It helps you increase your range of motion, flexibility, and strength. If you aren’t too keen on exercising, start with some low-impact activities like walking, yoga, or swimming to get yourself into a routine of engaging in physical activity to help prolong joint health. Regular exercise and motion keep our joints lubricated and strong, giving you the power to do more. Before you start any type of exercise, be sure to warm up your muscles by taking a quick walk or doing some jumping jacks. You’ll also want to make sure that you give your muscles a good stretch once your workout is over. Warming up and cooling down will help keep you from over-straining your muscles.
As you become accustomed to exercising more regularly, try mixing up some of your low-impact exercises for ones that will help you build core, back, and chest strength—like planks and push-ups. Strengthening these areas will help you improve your balance to help prevent you from falling, which would badly injure your joints. Be sure to wear proper protection if you need it. Accessories like knee and wrist braces can help relieve pain from areas where your joints need it.
Shed Some Pounds
Hopefully, as you get moving and exercise your core, you’ll notice some positive changes in your weight. Shedding a few pounds can help lessen the strain on your joints and keep them healthier for longer. Besides exercising, you should also be aware of your diet and how it affects your weight and joints. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like fish and nuts, along with plenty of water can help you receive the nutrients your body needs to maintain healthy joints. Check out our blog on non-dairy superfoods for other foods to add to your diet.
Whether you are at work, in the car, or sitting on the couch, you need to be mindful of your posture. Correct posture protects joints from the neck down, preventing you from adding any additional stress to your joints. It is difficult to constantly remind yourself to sit up straight, especially at work. Write yourself a note and pin it where you see it often to remind you to have good posture. If you need more ideas for correcting your posture at work, we’ve got you covered with this blog post. You should constantly be mindful of your posture, but especially while you are exercising. You can injure yourself or create joint damage if you are in the wrong stance while lifting something heavy.
Know Your Limits
Recognizing joint pain is a matter of listening to your body. If your body is sore for more than 48 hours after an exercise, you probably overdid it and should rethink your exercise routine to avoid injury or damage to your joints. Knowing your limits and listening to your body can keep you from accidentally causing an injury. If you feel pain in your joints, your body may be telling you that you did something wrong. Prolonged pain in your joints after working out or simply from your daily routine is a sign that you need to see your doctor. Make an appointment at Summit Orthopaedics to visit with a joint specialist.
Healthy joints are happy joints, so be sure to give them the care and attention they need to keep you moving pain-free for years.