Do you imagine yourself not being able to walk or to be active, doing the things you love? Is this thought scary for you? We are not talking about disabilities, but about injuries and joint problems. This happens all the time, but it doesn’t mean that you should be expecting it to happen to you. There are things you can do and measures you can take.
It’s really important to keep your joints healthy and strong so that you can keep being active and do the things you want. And the best way to care for your joints is to keep them, your muscles, ligaments and bones strong and stable. These are our top 7 tips for good joint health.
#1. Increase flexibility
Stretching, whether is static or dynamic, helps you by maintaining range of motion around joints. The best way to start a workout session is to warm up all major muscle groups, and the way to finish it is to stretch for increasing flexibility. A proper warm up will allow your tendons to flex, help loosen up muscles and work better and gets the blood flowing through your body. This will make them able to handle the added weights or exercises loads you put on them.
#2. Exercise regularly
This will help you maintain a healthy weight, get rid of stiffness and improve posture, all very beneficial for healthy joints. If you don’t have a workout routine and spend most of your hours sitting at a desk, at least remember to take several breaks and move around. You also need to shift your position often.
#3. Protect your joints
Take care of your body by wearing appropriate protective equipment. You will need knee sleeves, knee wraps, calf sleeves or knee braces, depending on the exercises you’re performing. For example, when doing squats your knees may be impacted by the amount of weight you are using. This could lead to pain in your knees if you don’t use protection.
You need variety in your workout routine. Cross training is perfect because it helps prevent the overuse of muscles and joints – which is the slow and steady way to knee injuries. Opt for a range of varied activities by alternating workouts.
#5. Core exercises
Doing regular abdominal exercises can really help support your joints by strengthening the muscles in your abs, back and hips. It will help you with balance and the better the balance and core strength you have, the lower the risk of falling or injuring yourself in any other way.
#6. Eating right nourishes your joints
A healthy diet is good for your joints, because it helps build strong bones and muscles. Also, physical activity combined with a balanced diet will help you manage your weight, and this will put less stress on your joints.
A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. It also includes protein – lean meat, seafood, eggs and nuts, and foods low in solid fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, added sugars and refined grains.
#7. Don’t overdo it
Regardless of the type of exercises you do, or how heavy the workout, your body needs time to repair itself. All your muscles, tendons and ligaments need rest and time to repair after a hard workout. This is beneficial because in time they with become stronger.
Be good to your knees now
Taking care of your knees will cost you a lot less time and effort than rehabilitating them down the road. It’s always better to prevent than to repair!