If you have ever wondered how to keep your joints healthy and whether it matters to have healthy joints, you should click here for tips and information.
Some people live years, maybe even their whole lives, with weak elbows, painful knees, or swollen ankles. The effects can be debilitating! But those pains aren’t inevitable.
Do you want to avoid the crippling joint pain that plagues so many people? Do you feel like there's more you can do to improve and maintain your joint health?
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to strengthen your joints. Keep reading for more tips and information about how to keep your joints healthy. We've broken it down into six simple points.
1. Low Impact Exercise
You've probably seen those high-intensity exercises that look like they're terrible on your joints. Truth is, they might be, if performed improperly.
Low impact exercises are the best possible exercises for your joint health. They don't add any unnecessary, additional strain or stress onto your knees, hips, ankles, shoulders, or elbows.
An amazing low impact exercise is swimming! Just about anyone can do it and it can benefit any age, any body type, any joint condition. The water takes weight off of your joints while still allowing your body to exercise, so it's the best possible scenario.
The water also helps to relax and stretch your spine, which greatly helps alleviate pain or strain in your back. How many opportunities do you really get to be weightless while you exercise? What a dream combo!
2. Healthy Body Weight
Did you know that your body weight tremendously impacts your joint health? Imagine walking around carrying a 40 lb. weight every single day. Imagine the stress that would put on your poor knees!
That's exactly what happens if you're overweight. Additional weight on top of your ideal body weight is bad for your joints.
In fact, for each pound of extra weight you lose, you lose FOUR pounds of pressure off your knees. Not only is that amazing, it's life changing!
Your knees can last longer and feel better if you spend most of your life in your ideal body weight zone. Do you know your ideal body weight? Check out this BMI (body mass index) calculator to determine the weight you should be for your height.
3. Strength Training
Even though you don't want extra pounds putting additional strain on your joints, you do want to build up the muscles around your joints. This requires strength training.
Training your bones and joints under added weight in the right way can significantly boost their lifespan. Correct strength training can strengthen your joints while also minimizing joint pain. It can also help prevent injury!
Grab some weight at home and try some of the following exercises to strengthen your joints:
- Leg presses
- Wall squats
- Calf raises
- Side leg raises
- Hamstring curls
- Side steps with resistance band
- Walking lunges
There are plenty of ways to improve joint health naturally. Discover more about natural health for your joints.
4. Calcium & Vitamin D
Who hasn't heard that calcium is essential to bone health? Hopefully no one! There's a reason "Got Milk" is so memorable.
Eating and drinking calcium is so important because it literally builds bones. Without calcium, your bones would be extremely fragile and could never rebuild themselves.
Vitamin D is equally important for your bones and joints because it's what helps them absorb and use calcium. Without vitamin D, your body couldn't even use the calcium you intake, so both are crucial for bone health!
Make sure to include some of the following foods into your diet every day for optimal joint and bone health:
- Seeds and nuts
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
- Canned tuna
- Egg yolks
- Herring, sardines, oysters
Don't eat dairy and worried you don't get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet? No need to fear--plenty of non-dairy foods contain calcium and vitamin D, as you can see.
5. Lifelong Movement
If you want your bones and joints to be healthy, mobile, and pain-free for as long as humanly possible, you need to keep moving! The worst thing you can do is to stop moving.
Sedentary lifestyles contribute to joint and bone deterioration because you're not using them! It may be tempting to move less if you suffer from arthritic pain, but movement actually helps to decrease joint pain.
Think about when you sit up for the first time in the morning after a long night's sleep. Inevitably, some of your muscles, bones, and joints are stiff. They may even require you to stretch out a bit.
Now imagine how stiff you'd feel if you hardly ever moved around day-to-day! Stiffness adds to and even creates joint pain. If you want strong and healthy joints, be sure to get in some movement every day, even as simple as the following:
Walk in the morning, during your lunch break, or anytime you're on the phone
Stretch while you watch TV
Take the stairs
Get your heart rate up with a few jumping jacks, air squats, or high knees
Use any sort of fitness tracker that'll tell you your daily steps -- you might be surprised how much this motivates you!
6. Don't Smoke!
It wasn't until after 1960 that medical professionals and the general public accepted that cigarettes are linked to cancer and other harmful diseases. Nowadays it's common knowledge that smoking is dangerous and extremely harmful to your heart and lungs.
But did you know that smoking can also weaken your joint health? Smoking is terrible for your bones, which makes it terrible for your joints.
It causes bone weakness and sensitivity, known as osteoporosis. This increases the risk of bone breaking, fracture, tendonitis, and even arthritis. That's the last thing you want for our joints!
A great way to steer clear of joint and bone issues is to steer clear of smoking. You won't regret not smoking!
You Can Know How To Keep Your Joints Healthy
Joint and bone health doesn't have to be a gray area! You can understand what helps and what hurts. You can know how to keep your joints healthy.
It may take some lifestyle adjustments on your part, but whatever positive changes you make will greatly strengthen and improve your joints. That includes decreasing pain, increasing longevity, and preventing injury.
Check out our other articles about health and lifestyle. Improving this area of your life will inspire you to work on the others!