Joint pain is a common problem as our body ages.
While we might not feel it everyday, it's common to feel strain in your joints after a long day of activity or strenuous exercise. Nice reminder that we aren't as young as we once were, ain't it!
As we age, our bodies require more maintenance and repair to keep them performing at their best. Nutrition, weight, movement and rest can all be contributing factors.
So how can we start protecting our bodies naturally from joint deterioration today? Let's take a look at the following 7 tips to protect your body from joint deterioration.
We know it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet and drink lots of water, but how does that affect your joints specifically? Cartotenoids are a nutrient found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables that have been shown in studies to reduce inflammation and improve joint function. Eating lots of healthy fats, like Omega-3 fatty acids, can reduce the body’s immune response to help alleviate inflammation, preventing long-term, chronic damage.
Plenty of Rest
Just like our mental health needs plenty of sleep, so do our joints. Our body recovers while we catch our ZZZ’s and when we skimp on sleep we can cut into that healing time. Especially on days where you’ve had moderate to heavy levels of activity, try to get in at least 8 hours of sleep and some physical rest during the day. Rest is recovery. Do it often to help those knees!
Yoga or Simple Stretching
Each of our joints has a different range of motion and connection to ligaments and tendons. To keep your joints and the surrounding flesh healthy, help your body practice full range of motion daily through stretches.
Daily stretches or practicing yoga can be an excellent form of joint deterioration prevention. Stretching moves your blood and lymphatic fluid, frees tightness in muscles and strengthens your joints. Just a few minutes per day can have a marked impact so give it a try.
There are a vast array of vitamins that can help strengthen and improve your joints’ functions and therefore reduce chronic aches and pains.
Glucosamine, in particular, helps keep your cartilage healthy while reducing inflammation.
Chondroitin can help reduce pain and increase your joint mobility.
Fish oil helps to lubricate your joints and provide essential fatty acids your body needs for multiple functions. Try all three for a one-two punch!
Herbs and essential oils have been shown to reduce inflammation, reduce pain and decrease stiffness. Depending on the blend, some topical, natural joint creams can become a daily staple in your efforts to keep your joints healthy.
Beware of joint creams that contain artificial ingredients such as petroleum, artificial menthol or steroids as these have been shown to cause additional problems such as skin irritation and liver damage.
We've all felt the difference in our joints after losing a quick 10 pounds. We all know the overall health benefits of maintaining a healthy weight. One excellent way to prevent joint deterioration is to maintain a healthy weight for your body.
Start slow and be consistent as you don't want to add yet another strain on your joints by fluctuating your weight dramatically.
Movement and rest go hand in hand in keeping us healthy overall. Creating a balance between activity and leisure is a sure fire way to prevent deterioration and keep your joints healthy for years to come.
Don’t let a little wear and tear on your joints slow you down! Try out a few of these tips to see if you can’t get yourself functioning back at 100%.