Anyone who has ever groaned involuntarily while getting up from the couch has probably already realized that joint health becomes more of an issue as we get older. Some people in their early 20s have probably also realized that getting “older” happens sooner than you may think.
Keeping your joints in good health is the best way to prevent injury, and promote a healthy and active lifestyle for yourself. Here are a few simple rules to make sure you keep your joints in good working order.
Stay in Motion
Many jobs require us to stay in one spot for an extended period of time. This is especially true of desk jobs, or jobs which require a lot of travel. It is important that you get up at least once per hour and spend a few minutes moving around. This prevents stiffness and achiness that can result from under-using your joints, or from poor posture which can develop from sitting too long.
Low Impact Exercises
Your joints are happiest when they are not being overly stressed. A great way to stay active without harming your joints is by participating in low impact activities such as swimming, walking, or a stationary bike.
Protect Them with Supports and Padding
Having an active lifestyle is fantastic, but it can cause joint injury if you’re not especially careful. If you play sports, be sure that you are wearing all of the recommended protective gear. A single blow to an unprotected knee is exactly the kind of sports injury that can haunt you for decades. Protect yourself ahead of time with appropriate padding, guards, or braces.
Your joints will be better protected if you build up their support system. Runners can benefit greatly from strengthening their quads and hamstrings, tennis players can benefit by working on their arms and shoulders, and nearly everyone can benefit from a stronger core. A bit of strength training can greatly improve joint health.
Healthy Weight Loss
Always check with your doctor to determine how to go about losing weight in a healthy way, but it is true that for each pound you lose, you take approximately 4 pounds of pressure off your joints. Even a small weight loss can alleviate joint pain.
Know Your Limits
Athletes are often told to push through the pain, but you should be able to recognize the difference between a healthy muscle burn, and actual pain. The former is good, the latter is your body begging you to stop before you hurt yourself. Listen.
Ice, Ice, Baby
Apply ice to sore joints to help reduce inflammation, and keep them elevated whenever possible. Give your joints this crucial time to recover, and you can help to avoid a more permanent injury.
Address Joint Pain at the Source
Maintaining healthy joints is best done with a whole body approach. Making sure your body is supplemented with the nutrients it needs to support joint health is very important. Consider using a product such as the Joint Relief Advanced Combo Pack available from Bauer Nutrition, to promote joint health from within.
Be good to your joints, and they will be good to you!