Taking steps in maintaining healthy joints is one of the most important lifestyle changes for anyone. However, natural joint health is especially crucial for people with joint problems. But all the top-rated joint supplements are not enough to promote healthy joints without exercise and the right diet.
Healthy Joints Through Exercise and Diet
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight will put constant pressure on the back, hips, and knees as they carry all the body weight. Maintaining a healthy weight will lessen the pressure on weight-bearing joints and prevent other health problems, as well.
2. Do Physical Exercises
Physical exercise helps with weight loss and strengthening the joints. Choose activities that will increase the heart rate but will not put too much stress on the joints, such as:
- Swimming and other pool exercises
Avoid sitting still for long periods of time because the lack of movement leads to joint stiffness. As much as possible, try to change positions frequently.
3. Avoid Intense Exercises
While exercising is good for the body, overdoing it can be counterproductive. It’s important to avoid intense exercises that will put too much pressure on the joints, such as:
- Long jumps
- Jumping jacks and jump rope exercises
4. Stretch Daily
Stretching every day can help improve mobility and flexibility to lessen the pressure on the joints. However, don’t stretch if the muscles are cold. Do simple warm-up exercises like side bends before stretching the muscles. This will help loosen the tendons, ligaments, and joints around the muscle.
5. Protect the Body
One of the main causes of impaired joint health is an injury. For contact sports, wear protective padding as much as possible to lessen the blow on the joints. Wearing elbow, ankle, and knee braces can provide ample support to the joints.
6. Eat Right
Eating for healthy joints is as simple as knowing what to eat and what to avoid.
- Green-leafy vegetables: kale and broccoli are great sources of calcium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene
- Whole grains: like oatmeal can help prevent inflammation
- Fish: as a source of omega-3 fatty acids; choose cold-water fishes like mackerel and salmon
- Cherries: have anthocyanins which lessen the frequency of gout flare-ups
- Citrus fruits: are rich in vitamin C, increasing the body’s production of collagen, a protein that helps build strong cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and bones
- Sugar and refined carbs
- Dairy products
- Processed foods
7. Use Ice to Relieve Joint Pain
Ice reduces the joint swelling and numbs the area to temporarily relieve pain. Wrap ice cubes in a towel and apply it to the affected area for 20 minutes. A bag of frozen vegetables is also a good substitute for ice cubes and ice packs. As long as the ice is never applied directly to the skin.
8. Build a Strong Core and Proper Posture
A strong core is imperative in maintaining a proper posture. The abs and back are essential to balance, which can help prevent injury, while proper posture helps protect the joints from the neck down.
9. Know the Limits
To avoid injury, knowing the body’s limits is paramount. When doing physical activities, stay tuned to the body’s joints and muscles to know what hurts. The moment pain is felt when engaging in a physical activity, stop immediately and let the joints and muscles rest. Experiencing lasting pain or inflammation can mean its time to consult with a physician.
Watch this video from The Doctors for more tips on how to maintain healthy joints:
Maintaining healthy joints through exercise and diet also comes with limitations. It’s important to perform low-impact exercises to lessen the stress on the knees. Avoiding certain foods is also necessary to avoid joint pain.
What are other tips for maintaining healthy joints? Share them with us in the comments section below!