How to keep your Joints Healthy
As we get older it is common for our joints to wear down. As they wear down, we may experience conditions like arthritis, so we must pay much attention to keep our joints healthy.
Maintain Your Ideal Weight
About optimal joint health, it is necessary for us to maintain our ideal body weight. Carrying excess body weight adds stress to our joints, especially the weight-bearing joints. Studies have found that weight loss significantly reduces knee pain, function, and stiffness associated with knee osteoarthritis.
Avoid holding one position for too long. When working at a desk, for example, get up and stretch every 15 minutes. Do the same while sitting at home reading or watching the television.
Keep your bones and muscles strong
For strong bones, it is vital to take in enough calcium and vitamin D every day. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but other good sources are green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale. If you think you are not getting enough calcium from your diet, consider supplements. In addition, your muscles need protein. Exactly how much you need depends on your age, sex, and how active you are. Good sources include lean meats, seafood, beans, legumes, and nuts.
Eating inflammatory foods such as sugar, dairy, saturated fats and meat can aggravate joint pain whilst foods that are anti-inflammatory such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help to prevent joint pain caused by inflammation.
Boosting your calcium intake can also help to look after your joint health. Calcium is a mineral that helps our bones to stay strong and minimizes our risk of developing brittle bone disease (osteoporosis). Our body continually removes small amounts of calcium from our bones and replaces it with new calcium. If our body removes more calcium than it replaces our bones become weaker and more prone to breaking.
When we are stressed our body can kick into an inflammatory response which can cause the joints to swell and become less mobile. Stress also causes levels of the stress hormone cortisol to increase, and this increase can drive down the production of collagen which is an important part of maintaining healthy joints. What is more, stress can cause our muscles to tense up; this tension causes our joints to work so much harder which can lead to further inflammation and discomfort.