As much as we hate aging, sometimes it feels like there is nothing we can do about the aches and pains that come with it.
Stiffness, cracks and creaking, pain, and inflammation seem glued to the fact that getting older means enduring more pain in your joints. But can you do something about the aches and pains that hit your joints?
The best way to care for your joints is to keep them and your muscles, ligaments, and bones healthy and strong. Prevent the problems before they begin and you’ll be more likely to live without the pain longer.
Here are 6 tips for keeping your joints healthy:
1. Watch Your Weight
Keeping your weight within a healthy range is the best thing you can do for your joints. The more overweight you are, the more wear and tear you put on your joints. Losing weight reduces pressure on your knees, hips, and back and also helps prevent joint injury. Research has shown that with every pound you gain, you put four times more stress on your knees.
Physical activity encourages circulation of the synovial fluid which allows bones to move past one another more smoothly. Exercise also triggers a biological process called autophagy which involves removing damaged cells in your joints.
Exercise can also help you lose extra pounds thus striving toward or maintaining a healthy weight. If you have joint pain, be sure to choose low-impact exercises that avoid pounding upon impact, for example, brisk walking, swimming, cycling or the elliptical machine. You should also avoid long-term sitting. Those who sit in a chair or on a couch the majority of the day have a higher risk for joint pain. Less movement means more stiffness in your joints. So change positions frequently and stretch and go for short walks throughout the day.
Weight training exercises help build muscle and keep your muscles and ligaments strong which support your joints. By doing this you are sharing work with your joints therefore avoiding too much pressure on them for support. If you have joint pain, be sure to consult with a certified personal trainer to demonstrate the best exercises and how to do them correctly as doing them incorrectly increases your chance of injuries.
Building strength in your core helps you stay balanced and makes potentially damaging falls less likely.
Don’t forget to stretch and warm up prior to and after exercising. Also, keep in mind that elbow, wrist, knee and ankle straps or guards can help reduce stress on your joints during exercise or recreational activities.
3. Straighten up
Good posture helps guard your hip joints and back muscles. Slouching is not good for your joints. In time, poor posture can cause misalignment of the spine which eventually leads to more joint stress and pain. Posture is very important when lifting and carrying. When lifting, you should use the biggest muscles in your body by bending at your knees instead of bending your back.
4. Eat healthy/stay hydrated
Eating a healthy diet is good for your joints, because it helps build strong bones and muscles.
Calcium keeps your bones strong and also minimizes your risk of developing osteoporosis, so be sure to include enough calcium in your diet. Your body needs vitamin D to assist your body in absorbing calcium from food. Low vitamin D also causes muscle weakness, which can lead to dangerous falls as you age. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight, but it’s nearly impossible to get enough in most places in the fall and winter, or if you’re using sunscreen. This is why supplements are helpful. Your doctor can recommend the correct supplementation dosage. And for strong muscles, you need to get enough protein. Studies have also suggested that vitamin C and other antioxidants can help keep your joints healthy.
Omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial for healthy joints and overall good health. They are primarily found in fatty fish and some nuts and seeds. Try to eat a fatty fish like salmon twice a week and/or consider taking fish oil supplements.
Eating inflammatory foods such as those with refined sugar, saturated fats and non-lean red meat can aggravate joint pain. Foods that are anti-inflammatory such as fruit, vegetables and whole-grains help to prevent joint pain.
Your cartilage is made from approximately 60% water. Therefore, it is essential that you keep hydrated for healthy joints. If you don’t, then your synovial fluid production will be reduced and your risk of friction pain and cartilage deterioration will increase.
5. Manage stress
When you are stressed your body kicks into an inflammatory response which can cause your joints to swell. Stress causes levels of the stress hormone cortisol to increase, and this increase can drive down the production of collagen which is an important part of maintaining healthy joints. Stress can also cause your muscles to tense up forcing your joints to work harder which can lead to more uncomfortable inflammation.
A few suggestions to relax and de-stress are: soaking in a hot bath with some Epsom salts, deep breathing and meditating, drinking calming herbal tea, clearing your plate by delegating tasks to others or saying no to additional tasks, getting enough sleep at night, taking short naps and making sure you plan and take regular vacation time to unwind.
6. Wear proper footwear
Wearing the correct shoes is important for bone and joint health. Women who wear high-heeled shoes have a 7 to 10 times greater chance of developing joint pain and other issues. Heels lower than three inches are best for good bone and joint health. It’s also important that all of your shoes fit properly. Cushioning under the ball and heel areas of your feet is recommended.
As you can see above, there are many different things you can implement in your life to encourage healthy joints. So sit up straight, take a deep breath, then get up and stretch, plan your next visit to the gym or a walk, eat some salmon for dinner and drink plenty of water while you dream of where your next vacation will be.
Discover What Ideal Collagen Can Do for Achy Joints
For more people, joint pain is just a reality at some point in life.
But suffering with it and enduring through it doesn’t have to be. Ideal Collagen is a natural collagen formula that aids and repairs the joints by supply high levels of hydrolyzed collagen to your joints while also promoting natural collagen production. And since collagen is the protein your cartilage needs to prevent the joints from grinding, it’s the perfect way to support the health of your joints.
Ideal Collagen is a great-tasting powder drink mix that makes it easy to add 10,000mg of collagen to your diet each day. That amount is perfect to help the joints in a way only hydrolyzed collagen can. Add that to the glucosamine and chondroitin in Ideal Collagen and you get a truly effective collagen formula to the health of your joints.