Are you concerned about your joints? Read on here for 10 great tactics to prevent joint pains and stay in shape.
More than half of the adults experience muscle, bone or joint pain (like back pain or arthritis), and yet most of the people just only frown and bear it and put off for at least a month before seeing a doctor while some don’t go at all.
So if you feel knee pain when you squat down, or your hips ache while climbing the stairs, you’re not alone.
Here are 10 great tips and strategies about how to keep your joints healthy and flexible.
1. Keep Moving: Even if you don’t feel like it, keep moving. This is most essential.
To quote Dr. Yousef Habbab, health services medical director at AXA PPP Healthcare: “It may be the last thing you feel like doing but the more you move, the less stiffness and pain you’ll experience. Avoid staying in one position. So, if you’re working at a computer, get up and move at least once an hour.”
2. Do The Right Exercise: To quote Dr Habbab: “Low-impact activities such as cycling and walking, are better for joints than running or aerobics, while swimming takes the weight load completely.”
Exercises that are directed at your spinal segmental range of motion like Yogs, Tai Chi and Pilates, are especially useful as they help make better your posture.
3. Stay Lean: To quote Shona Wilkinson, head nutritionist at nutricentre.com: “Being overweight is bad for your joints because it adds extra strain. Every extra pound you gain puts four times the stress on your knees. The flip side is even a small amount of weight loss will give your knees relief. Research shows that losing 11 pounds may improve joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%.”
4. Stay Well Oiled: You should maintain moving parts of your body lubricated. Aim to eat plenty of oily fish.
To quote Shona: “Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish not only cut symptoms linked to joint pain but also change the levels of inflammation.”
Fish oil reduces the production of inflammation-portending cells.
The best healthy oil sources are oily fish, like salmon and fresh tuna, or consider taking a Omega 3 Fish Oil supplement.
5. Use Correct Posture: Your posture has lots of impact. For instance, carrying a hefty bag on one shoulder can constrain your body to move abnormally that can, in turn, cause pain in the knees or hips.
Best is to spread weight uniformally so that your core takes the whole weight and not just one side.
If you’re at work, take care to sit right and comfortably in a chair that supports your back and that your screen is at the right height.
6. Stand And Balance On One Leg: Does it sound strange to you? But it’s true – it really is good for your joints.
To quote Tim Allardyce, clinical director at Surrey Physio: “Balancing exercises are under-rated but very important. The standing and balancing on one leg exercise strengthens the muscles and ligaments around the ankles and knees, boosting balance and coordination. Stand on one leg with your eyes open (progress to eyes closed) and try to keep your balance. Touch the wall for support if you need to, at first. Hold for two minutes daily.”
7. Stretch: Stretching before and after exercise is beneficial. Doing some gentle stretching exercises as part of your everyday routine will contribute a lot in maintaining your muscles and ligaments flexible and sturdy.
There are two helpful types:
(i) Static Stretching, meaning holding the stretch of a joint for about 30 seconds. It gives best results when done after exercise.
(ii) Dynamic stretching, meaning moving your joints in their full range of motion repetitively to warm up.
8. Watch Out Dairy And Citrus Fruits: In case you are impaired with arthritis, eating too much of dairy products isn’t wise. Your system may find it tough to break down the calcium as it should, so it can lead to more swelling.
To quote Alison Cullen, nutritional therapist at A.Vogel: “To solve this problem the body needs a good source of calcium and magnesium, such as leafy green vegetables, oats, dried fruit, seeds and beans, as this helps the body to utilize calcium properly.”
If you are suffering from arthritis, also try to pass up citrus fruits because they can make symptoms graver.
Further, foods from the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines) has alkaloids, which have been observed to obstruct the repair of collagen in those having arthritis and thus aggravate the inflammation and therefore pain.
Coffee and tea should be also be minimized in such cases.
9. Be Compassionate To Your Knees: If you take care of your knees they will be kind to you for your whole life.
To quote GP Paul Stillman (from www.talking knees.co.uk): “Your knees should last you a lifetime. If you have to kneel or squat at work, in the garden or cleaning the house, always use a kneeling pad or knee protectors. Don’t wait for your knees to complain – do it anyway.”
10. Don’t Delay To See A Doctor:
To quote Dr. Stillman: “Pain and stiffness can creep up gradually so it’s easy to put off doing anything about it. Seek professional help as soon as it starts impacting on your life. There is so much we can do – from self-help advice to medication to physiotherapy.”
So, follow above natural joint health tips to take care of your joints and they will in turn remain kind to you for your whole life. Cheers!
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About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”