Throughout the decades, I’ve been noticing my body changing. Now that I’m reaching 40, if I’m not careful, I really notice my joints. So for all of you who want to prepare for the future or those who are experiencing joint pain now, I’m pleased to publish this guest article by Brooke Chaplan!
If your family has a history of joint issues, you may be concerned about keeping your body’s hinges strong so they can last through the rest of your life. There are behaviors you can change to strengthen even your most used joints and help prevent joint damage in the future. If you want to keep the weakest chinks in your armor strong use these tips for building up muscle and flexibility.
Exercise can damage your joints through wear and tear, especially if your form is bad. But exercise can also benefit your joints if done right. The muscles around joints work to keep joints protected, so the first step is to strengthen those muscles. The trick here is to choose exercises that are low impact.
High-impact activities such as running and jumping can cause your joints to wear down faster. Low impact exercises will build your muscles up, support your skeleton, and take some of the stress from your joints. Some of the most popular low impact exercises many people enjoy are swimming, cycling, yoga, and flexibility and range-of-motion stretches.
Speak with your doctor or physical therapist as they may be able to suggest specific exercises to build the right muscles and strengthen your joints. Your doctor (personal trainer with the right experience or physiotherapist) can also inform you on the exact exercises to avoid preventing damage.
Nutrition for Your Joints
Your body needs a couple of nutrients to keep bones and joints healthy. One of the most important being calcium. Bones are made from calcium and eating calcium-rich cereal for breakfast, dark leafy greens, or dairy products on a regular basis will help give you the healthy bones you need to protect your joints. If you have trouble consuming enough calcium in your diet, supplement your intake with a calcium tablet or chew from the pharmacy.
Vitamin D builds strong bones and protects joints as well. The best source of Vitamin D is sunshine. You want to have a lot of exposure to daily sunlight, but remember to wear sunscreen if you plan to be out for more than a few hours. While you want to avoid lengthy exposures to the sun, it is healthy to bask in the sun for about 15 minutes three times a week. Getting this amount of natural light exposure can be difficult in Northern climates and during the winter. Taking a Vitamin D supplement can help you get the nutrients you need during winter months.
You can take care of yourself and preserve your joints by exercising and monitoring your calcium and Vitamin D intake. These simple behaviors will help you avoid joint pain and damage later on. If you need more intensive repair it might be best to speak to a professional physician or institution like the Noyes Knee Institute which specializes in meniscus repair in Ohio.
Joints are the hinges that keep our bodies upright and working properly. If you think you are having issues use these preventative tips and see a therapist to help recommend better forms and treatments.
About the Author
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.
I’ve recently been working with a personal trainer and any of my joint issues have literally disappeared with regular workouts. If you’re experiencing joint pain, I highly recommend investing in at least a couple of months worth of personal training so they can show you the proper technique and exercises to strengthen your muscles around your joints to eradicate the pain!