Sometimes doing what's best for your body can seem counterintuitive. That's especially true when it comes to caring for your joints. Joints are the foundation of our structural system, joining bones together and protecting them from impact. If you're experiencing joint pain, your initial instinct might be to rest and recover. The key to maintaining healthy, flexible joints, however, is staying active and eating a nutritious diet. A sedentary lifestyle promotes joint stiffness and soreness but staying active combats those conditions.
Before you begin any exercise, make sure to thoroughly stretch and warm up all your major muscle groups to maximize the effectiveness of your workout. You can start simple. Incorporate some daily range of motion exercises, such as rolling your shoulders forward and backward and lifting your arms over your head. These exercises work to relieve stiffness and maintain your joints' full range of motion.
Engage in a low-impact workout two to three times a week. This includes weight training, which keeps the muscles around your joints strong so they can stabilize and protect your joints. Other low-impact workouts include walking, bicycling, swimming and using elliptical or rowing machines. These workouts will continue to build your muscles, improve your range of motion, burn fat, decrease stress and strengthen your core.
You can also care for your joints even when you're not at the gym. If you sit all day, make sure you maintain proper posture, keeping any unnecessary pressure off your joints. Try to sit so your elbows, hips and knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Your vertebral discs don't get the blood supply they need when your body is static, so be sure to get up and move around at least once every hour.
Diet is also an important part of caring for your joints, providing your body with nutrients and helping to control your weight. For healthy joints, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free dairy products and lean meats, and low in fat, salt, refined flours and sugar. By balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories you burn, you should be able to keep a healthy weight. This is crucial to your joints since every pound of weight is equal to 4 pounds of pressure on your knees.
At Goshen Health, we provide comprehensive and innovative joint care designed to help patients get the most out of life. We specialize in both non-surgical and surgical solutions for pain, depending on individual needs. For more information, call (574) 534-2548.
Posted: 11/30/2016 by
Filed under: exercise, fitness, fitness and exercise