As we age, our joints begin to wear down and make us vulnerable to different health problems like osteoarthritis, for example. At the same time, you are likely to experience restricted flexibility and movement when you overuse a joint. Taking good care of your joints is much like taking care of your overall health too. It enables you to remain physically active and mentally capable of living your hectic daily life.
If you’re currently dealing with joint pains or you’re finding it hard to keep up with your physical activities, then it’s time for some lifestyle changes. To help you have healthy joints and reduce the risk of future injuries, listed below are simple steps that you can follow.
1. Check your weight
It’s a general fact that being underweight or overweight puts more stress on the joints. For instance, you might not have enough muscle bulk to keep your joints stable and strong if you’re underweight. On the other hand, if you’re overweight, there’s a high possibility that each joint in your knees are carrying extra 10 to 30 pounds than normal.
Consult a health specialist to check your weight and what eating or activity plan suits you. It’s recommended to continue working with a dietitian or physical therapist when taking on a new diet plan or workout routine to ensure you’re on the right path to reach your ideal weight.
2. Always choose water
If you’re someone who loves to drink soda and energy drinks, you might want to consider cutting off on that and going for water instead. This tip is overly stressed, but there are still individuals who don’t take it seriously. To give you an idea, the cartilage in our bodies that cushions the joints are 80% made up of water. So if you are dehydrated, your body will likely force your cartilage and other body parts to release water, which results in damaged or weakened joints.
That is why experts suggest drinking water for good hydration to your joints. It’s also a general recommendation to listen to the cues of your body to determine how much water you need to drink.
3. Work on having strong muscles
Another crucial part of maintaining healthy joints is strengthening your muscles. Your muscles do not only act as a barrier to prevent excessive wear and tear to the joints but also prevent osteoarthritis or not worsen it. Simple regular exercises are generally effective for building good muscle balance and function.
But if you already have a condition such as osteoarthritis, you might need to consult your physician or a physical therapist about what exercises you can take. They might also prescribe you to wear osteoarthritis knee support or braces to better manage any discomfort you might experience and relieve knee pain, too. With proper support and strength exercise, you can improve your muscles’ stability and reduce the risk of joint pain.
4. Work on that posture
Did you know that the most common cause of neck pain, back pain, and shoulder is bad posture? Not practicing good posture can put extra pressure on the joints and make it more difficult for your muscles to function. The worst part that you absolutely want to avoid is spine misalignment due to poor posture. This can also result in more severe joint pain and stress.
For that reason, make sure to constantly check on your posture. Avoid maintaining a slouch or hunch position for a long period. And since good posture promotes correct alignment for your joints and bones it can also lead to fewer headaches, higher energy levels, and better breathing. Plus, it can also promote healthy blood flow, improve core strength, and give you better form during exercises.
5. Manage your stress
Inflammation, which can result in joint pain, is usually caused by stress. According to health experts, a person is more likely to have worse inflammation if they are exposed to stress for a longer time. A destructive inflammation can result in more pain whenever you move and might even cause the joints to swell. Prevent these by healthily managing your stress. Practice relaxations techniques, make time for hobbies, eat a balanced diet, avoid aggressive thoughts, get enough sleep, and avoid dependence on alcohol and drugs.
No matter if you already have osteoarthritis or other conditions, these easy lifestyle tips can absolutely be beneficial for improving the overall health of your joints. Still, we highly suggest that you consult your doctor prior to trying out any of these. This further ensures your health and safety, and of course, the chance to reap the amazing benefits that come with healthy joints.