Improving Joint Health

Improving Joint Health


Stiff neck? Trouble getting out of bed? Scared of exercising? Have you reached that age where you’re worried about your joint health?

If you’re between 30 and 40, you might have noticed your flexibility decreasing and your joints becoming less supple. Well, it’s not just you; joint health slowly diminishes to just about everyone as they age, starting from 30 onwards.

Your joints are crucial to your musculoskeletal system as they help with shock absorption and mobility, protect surrounding bones and organs and help with muscle function.

This means that to live a life with freedom and few restrictions, you’ve got to pay attention to your joint health. Keep reading to learn more about your joints and how to maintain their health as you age.

How to maintain healthy joints

As you age, healthy joints can help you with your mobility. Although you can’t avoid certain joint-associated conditions, there are exercises and lifestyle modifications you can make to safeguard and protect your joints. Here are some top tips on how to maintain healthy joints:

Stay within a healthy weight
Excess weight can stress your joints, such as your hips, ankles, knees and back. If you stay within a healthy weight range, less pressure will be placed on joints that help bear your weight. As a result, you lower the risk of joint damage.

Be active
If you stay active, you can significantly reduce stiffness in your joints. Try to move around frequently during the daytime, and don’t stay in one position for long.

If you work at a desk job, try to change your position every 1-2 hours to encourage blood flow and joint movement. Additionally, take part in low impact exercise such as cycling, strength training, walking, yoga, stretching and swimming to help protect.

Have a good diet
Always stick to a healthy diet, pay attention to your digestive health. Always eat lean proteins, which can help build your muscles. Whenever possible, include foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D. Similarly, fish such as mackerel and salmon have omega-3 fatty acids that slow down inflammation in your joints. Also, consuming foods such as berries, nuts, olive oil, and green leafy vegetables may lower inflammation.

Maintain a good posture
Always have the right posture; stop slouching! Limit repetitive motions, such as sitting, standing, and lifting heavy objects, as they can stress your joints.

Have a good core
If you have a strong abdomen (core), you can significantly help your joint health. Having a strong core can reduce your risk of falling and help you maintain a good balance.

Stay hydrated!
Your joint cartilage holds a lot of water. Drinking sufficient water can help synovial fluid be created for your joints. This fluid helps protect your bones from wear and tear.

4 Common causes of joint pain

If you’re to experience joint pain, it’s most likely to arise from the following causes:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune disease common in middle age, causing your joints and surrounding tissues to become inflamed. This condition often has symptoms of stiffness, pain and swelling.
  • Gout: A type of inflammatory arthritis where acidic crystals in your body collect in your joint, causing significant swelling and pain. It tends to mainly occur in your big toe.
  • Bursitis: Painful swelling around your feet, shoulders, elbows, knees, and joints. It often arises due to work or hobbies that place a lot of stress on your joints.
  • Tendonitis: Where the tendons between your elbow, heel, or shoulder become inflamed. Tendons are flexible bands that connect your bones and muscles.

What are the best exercises for joint strength?

If you want to protect your joints, try undergoing the following:

Strength training
There’s research which suggests resistance training or weightlifting can help ease your muscle pain, restore strength, and improve your mobility. So next time you go to the gym, try doing some bodyweight squats, lunges, shoulder presses, leg presses, pushups, planks and deadlifts.

Constantly undergoing any yoga can help strengthen and engage your muscles. The postures and poses help you stay balanced and strengthen your joints. Doing yoga consistently can cause less stress and strain on your joints due to stronger muscles.

Note: If you’re new to yoga, try looking up some tutorials on YouTube, like downward dog, Warrior II, Tree Pose and Bridge pose.

If you’re looking to strengthen your joints with little impact, swimming is a good exercise. The buoyancy water holds acts as resistance without causing you to put excess strain on your joints.

Another low-impact exercise similar to yoga you might want to try is pilates. This exercise form focuses on a strong core, flexibility and stability. It strongly focuses on strengthening the joints in your hips, shoulders and knees.

Final thoughts

Overall, having good joint health is essential to performing many daily activities like running, walking, jumping, playing sports, and more. If you don’t look after your joint health, you could risk reduced mobility, inflammation, lack of flexibility, injury and conditions subject to wear and tear. It’s not difficult to look after your joint health either. Simply be active, stay hydrated, have a healthy diet and maintain a good posture.

Do you suffer from joint pain or stiffness? Let us know how you manage your pain below.