10 Ways to Protecting Your Joints
Suffering from joint pain is enough to ruin any activity, which is why keeping your cartilage healthy should be a high priority. Damaged cartilage can’t heal or grow back, meaning that there’s little you can do to reverse the progress of arthritis once it starts. Instead, it’s better to protect the cartilage you have and make sure joint health is a priority in your life.
Below are some of the best ways to protect your joint health so they remain pain-free.
Maintain a healthy weight
Experts say that maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your joints. Big joints like your knees, hips, and back support almost all of your body weight. Therefore the heavier you are, the more wear and tear your joints will experience. Losing weight decreases stress on the hips, knees, and back, and also prevents injury. Previous research has shown that losing weight immediately decreases the pressure put on the joints
Keep aerobic exercise in your routine:
Arthritic joints make it hard to want to work out, but aerobic exercise remains one of the best things you can do for the health of your body. Keeping your heart pumping in an exercise routine ensures your cartilage stays nourished and is less likely to deteriorate. Walking, cycling and swimming are great low-stress ways to promote overall joint health.
When not in active motion, our bodies should maintain a certain posture. Ideally we should be standing completely straight as if a string is holding us up from the head. Our body should be aligned, starting with our ears down to our shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. By keeping good posture, less stress is put on your joints while the muscle and skeletal systems work together. Good posture can also prevent your bones from rubbing against each other at the joints, delaying or stopping the onset of arthritis. Slouching is the norm for most us so sitting and standing up straight may feel uncomfortable at first, but once you are used to it your muscles will feel an overall decrease in stress.
Don’t stay seated:
Both sitting AND standing is bad for your body in excessive amounts, so work to alternate between the two all day long for maximum joint benefit. Try to stand up at least once every half hour while at work to keep yourself in peak shape.
Stretch every day.
It will help you improve your ability to move your joints. This not only fights stiffness but also helps protect the cartilage from more wear and tear.
- “The more joints move, the more the cartilage gets nourished by the joint fluid,” Bush-Joseph says. He recommends yoga or Pilates to make you more flexible. “Don’t feel like you have to be perfect in class. Instructors will accommodate people with limitations.”
Keep on comfortable shoes:
High heels may look stunning on a night out, but they inevitably lead to sore feet and pained joints in the long run. Seek out comfortable shoes instead and your body will thank you later.
Give ice therapy a try:
Cold temperatures naturally reduce blood flow, which helps prevent tissue from swelling and getting inflamed. By icing your sore joints, you can stop them from flaring up in pain.
Choose low-impact exercises to protect your joints.
If you are more focused on finding exercises that will not aggravate your joints, go for low impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and biking. These exercises will give you a good cardiovascular workout without causing too much stress on your joints. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day. If you find that it is too hard to do 30 minutes at once, try exercising for 10 minutes three times per day.
Try natural supplements:
Fueling your body with what it needs for health will make a difference for your joints, so consider taking supplements with ginger and boswellia to improve your joint health for the long run.