Joint Health 101

fitness health Sep 02, 2020

Healthy joints are essential pieces of an overall strong body. No matter which sport or training you participate in, you should never ignore the importance of joint health. Unfortunately, when it comes to joints, exercise can be a double-edged sword. Physical activity is a key component of health, but strenuous exercises like running can wear out your (knee) joints. 

 Knees are some of the most commonly injured joints because of the impact they sustain every day.

 

Confused about what to do to best protect your joints? Here are some simple tips.

 

East Into New Workouts

It is crucial to warm up properly for any exercise plan. Instead of diving headfirst into weightlifting or an intense cardio workout, start with some simple yet effective warm up moves to ease your body into the workout ahead. Dynamic stretches like walking lunges, kicks or leg swings, and simple yoga poses are best.

 

This way, your muscles loosen up before you hit the treadmill or weight rack. Doing some exercises for healthy joints such as arm circles, shoulder shrugs and reaching towards your toes can help to prepare your body for the workout ahead. This can also help prevent injury during a workout.

 

Exercise Is Key

Exercise is incredibly important for healthy joints. In fact, it can help to maintain your joint’s strength and flexibility. It is always important to speak with your doctor before beginning any training or exercise program, and if you currently experience joint pain, be sure to mention that at your appointment as your doctor may be able to provide extra exercises to help.

Running is a great way to strengthen yourself.

Exercise can be an effective tool to strengthen your joints. In order to fully immerse yourself in this, choose something you enjoy doing. Whether that is swimming, tennis, hiking, cross training or weight lifting, exercise can help to keep your body feeling its best.

 

Stretch It Out

As with any exercise routine, you should follow it up with a cool down consisting of stretches. This can help reduce tension and stress on your joints, and also help relieve achy muscles after a workout. Be sure not to push yourself too hard with the stretches you do, as that could actually make things worse. Working within your physical limits ensures you do not put any more strain on your body or hurt yourself unnecessarily.

 

Stretching should be a way to alleviate tension in your muscles and around your joints, not a way to add to it. Making time for this as part of your workout routine can help to promote healthy joints while keeping your body limber and flexible.

 

Food for Fuel

Food is an important factor in any exercise plan, since what you consume provides energy and nourishment to your body. Exercise by itself will help your body grow stronger, but it also puts more pressure on your joints. That is why eating a healthy diet that supports your fitness routine can aid in keeping your joints healthy.

 

Foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties are essential to help reduce swelling around your joints that can be a result of exercise. Eating plenty of food sources with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamins can help keep your whole body from your muscle tissues to joints to bones healthy and strong. Some foods for healthy joints include the following:

  • Walnuts
  • Cherries
  • Oatmeal
  • Salmon
  • Kale
  • Red peppers
  • Turmeric

You may find that you need to adjust your diet as you go to best support your body and provide the proper nourishment. Any way you do it, planning out your meals so they work with your exercise routine can go a long way in supporting your physical needs.

 

Healthy Joints Means a Healthy Body

Fitness is about more than just exercising. It’s also about eating the right foods for healthy joints and doing the right exercises for healthy joints. You should never ignore the importance of joint health whenever you begin a new training program or increase your level of physical activity. Diet and exercise work hand-in-hand to keep your whole body healthy, especially your joints.

 

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