In this article (guide) you will learn 11 best ways & tips to keep your joints healthy, strong, flexible and avoid joint pains as you age.
How To Keep Your Joints Healthy, Strong & Flexible?
1. Physical Activity
Being physically active is one of the best ways to keep your aging joints healthy, strong and flexible. Regular physical activity & exercises help build & maintain strong muscles around your joints and keep them working the way they should.
Regular physical activity is even good for the people who already have arthritis. It will help decrease their disability and keep the joints working.
But if you’ve been leading sedentary lifestyle for any length of time, consult your doctor before you take up any exercise routine.
Make sure not to overdo when you first start exercising. Overdoing will not only expose you to the risk of injury, it may also work as a disincentive to continue with it.
Rather start with low-impact, gentler types of exercises and progress gradually to 30 to 60 minutes of active exercises each day.
You don’t need to run 10 miles a day or join a high-impact aerobic exercise class to stay or get fit. Low impact exercises like swimming or biking put less stress on the joints & provide you just as many benefits.
The Arthritis Foundation recommends low-impact exercises that are gentler on the joints, including aquatic sports, like swimming; social sports, like golf; walking, and cycling.
3. Warm Up
Remember to warm up and do some light dynamic stretching before active exercise. It will loosen up your muscles & joints, and thereby help you prevent injuries.
4. Range-of-Motion Exercises For Flexibility and Mobility
Studies have shown that limited range of motion & arthritis characteristically go hand-in-hand. To improve or even maintain our existing range of motion, we should regularly try to put each joint through its full range of motion. Move, extend, flex, bend, or rotate each joint routinely through their natural functional motion modes. This way you can promote flexibility, relieve pain & ease stiffness, and keep your joints functional.
5. Manage Your Weight
Being overweight is hard on your joints. Carrying excess body weight put more stress on your joints, particularly the weight bearing joints – knees, hips and feet. This increases wear and tear of your joints that leads to arthritis over time.
Healthy Physical activity, along with a balanced diet, will help you in keeping your weight with in a healthy range. Many studies have shown that considerable weight loss decreases stiffness and knee pain associated with knee osteoarthritis.
Read here about Healthy Diet
6. Drink Enough Water Every Day
Cartilage, a smooth layer, cushions the bones in our joints. It acts as a natural shock absorber. The role of a cartilage is to allow the bones to glide over each other easily. This rubbery, firm tissue is made up of about 85% water and 15% collagen & other proteins. As we age, the water content can reduce to about 70%, leading to less effective cushioning. The cartilage in our joints becomes thin & rougher, and may also breaks down as we get older, which can eventually cause our bones to rub together, leading to joint pain.
Many studies have found that Omega-3 fat can help decrease inflammation. This means reduced swelling & pain in aging joints.
Read here for the Foods That Provide Omega-3 Fatty Acids
8. Vitamin D and Calcium Are Vital for Joints Health
These two essentials work hand-in-hand to develop healthy bones and joints. Vitamin D actually helps your body absorb calcium.
Read this article to find How You Can Get Enough Vitamin D & Calcium
9. Build Core Strength
Core is your midsection and it includes all your muscles in that area including the front, back and sides. A strong core can safeguard your neck, back as well as knees. It also helps you maintain good flexibility that can prevent a fall.
Learn here How To Build Strong Core:
10. Stand Up Straight
Hunching puts more pressure on all your joints from your neck to your hips to your knees. That’s why we are taught in schools to “stand up straight.” Remember to always keep your posture upright whether you are standing or sitting.
11. Stop Smoking
Many studies have found that smoking deteriorates bone and joint health. It enhances the risk of osteoporosis & bone fracture. Smoking also increases risk of rheumatoid arthritis & low back pain. That’s not all; it also puts you at higher risk injuries involving tendonitis & bursitis.