All About Joints:A Holistic Approach
Keeping Joints Healthy
Whether you’re aiming to continue an active lifestyle, doing the things you love, or you’re looking for ways to improve how you feel, we know you’re here for a reason: to find the best ways to keep your joints healthy and strong for the long-term. Supporting and maintaining joint health, throughout our lives, is key to staying active and mobile as we age.
It may sound like quite the catch-22 — if you’re experiencing occasional joint stiffness, the last thing on your mind is wanting to exercise, but it’s exercise that helps keep the muscles around the joints strong so they don’t experience unnecessary pressure. It also circulates a natural component called synovial fluid that lubricates the joints and delivers nutrients.
If you want to learn ways to help with maintaining healthy joints, here we’ll talk about how to alleviate occasional stress on the joints through diet, posture and even footwear. Plus, learn a few stretches that can get you loosened up for more flexible healthier joints.
Joint Health and Exercise or Injury
An active lifestyle means more movement in the joints, so mild wear and tear is expected — knee joints are particularly susceptible . Previous injuries, even minor incidents when you were young that you may not even remember can effect how your joints feel today.
Low or no-impact exercises like walking and swimming a few times a week is an excellent way to incorporate movement while also supporting your joints. Always remember to stretch after a workout while your muscles are still warm — this allows to further maintain flexibility and mobility.
Joint Health and Nutrition
Contrary to practically every fashion magazine in circulation there actually is such a thing as good fat! Sadly, a pint of ice cream doesn’t fall under the “good fat” category, however there are plenty of delicious foods that help support your joints with their healthy fat content. Incorporate foods like avocado, nuts and seeds, and oily fish like salmon nourish your body with those good fats.
As you stroll down the aisles of your grocery store you may have noticed some packaged foods boasting claims like, “rich in Omega-3” or “a good source of Omega-3,” right? Some cooking oil brands, for example, may add Omega-3 into their productsdue to the various health benefits Omega-3’s possess. The best place to find Omega-3 is in salmon, tuna, sardines — and flaxseed, which can be added to fruit smoothies, or ground up and sprinkled over cereal or oatmeal.
Supporting and maintaining joint health throughout our lives is key to staying active and mobile.
Focusing on a healthy diet helps manage weight reducing unnecessary pressure on your joints. And ® provides supplemental nutrition that assists in long-term support for joint health.*
As you continue your stroll through the grocery aisles, seek out foods with vitamins A, C and E for their potent antioxidant benefits. Carrots, squash, spinach and kale for vitamin A; citrus fruits like oranges for vitamin C; and almonds and hazelnuts for vitamin E. Joint supplements and vitamins for joint health like the ® line of products help nurture and support joints for greater comfort.*
In fact, studies have also shown time and again that plant-based diets — as opposed to a heavy dose of meat and packaged foods so common in our country — is an effective anti-inflammatory for the body. Vegetables can act as powerful antioxidants helping to fight cell-damaging free radicals in your body that may contribute to oxidative stress caused by environmental factors such as pollution, smoking and even the sun. If you’re a big carnivore, try eliminating meat for just one day a week. Decreasing meat in your diet is a positive way to promote your overall health and joint mobility, not to mention better for the environment.
Your elementary school teachers would agree: Good posture is important. Our bodies are constantly working to hold us upright and poor posture can create stress on the joints. If your spine is not in proper alignment there could be unnecessary pressure on your back. Be mindful of your posture by noting how you stand and sit. When standing, tuck in your stomach muscles and reposition the pelvis so your tailbone points to the floor. When sitting, aim for the same tailbone position and ensure your shoulders and upper back aren’t hunched over. Not only are you helping your joints, you’ll appear more confident, too.
If you are lifting weights, check your form and ensure that those barbells aren’t too heavy. Incorrect form or attempting too much weight can put a strain on your joints causing injury instead. Seek out a trainer at your gym, many offer a free session to get you on the right track.
Squeezing your tootsies into a pair of cute heels or walking around in flip-flops can wreak havoc on your alignment and affect your joints. Flip-flops with zero arch support change your walking stride and puts more pressure on the knees. And those cute heels don’t provide a natural gait which can do some damage, too. Proper arch support delivers more than just comfort for your feet: it promotes better posture and helps decrease strain on your hips, knees and back. Ask your doctor if orthopedic shoes or a simple pair of insoles that can be found at your local pharmacy can help.
Stiff tight muscles put a strain on our bodies and sends our spine out of alignment. If you’re one of the millions of people in the US who has dealt with back pain, then you already know you’d do anything to avoid it. Thankfully, stretching can go a long way in helping to ease these problems. The ankles, hips, spine and shoulders are the four main joints that need some extra TLC to decrease tension.
For the upper back, try the Cat-Cow yoga pose. Simply get on all fours forming a “table top” shape with your back. Then, inhale and relax your stomach toward the floor while you arch your back pointing your tailbone and chin toward the ceiling. Hold for a breath or two, then round your spine like a scaredy cat drawing your chin to your chest. Breathe deeply and feel the gentle stretch in your back muscles.
Ankle circles are an easy way to loosen the muscles in your tired feet and ankles — and the best part, you can do this move just about anywhere. While seated, extend one leg and move your foot in a clockwise motion five times, then counterclockwise for five rotations. Switch legs and do the same for the other foot. It’s as simple as that.
Arm circles help stretch and strengthen the shoulders and arms. Extend your arms straight out at shoulder height with your palms facing down. With the tips of your fingers, move your straightened arms forward draw small imaginary circles. Gradually increase the size of the circle as you go. Once you have made 10 circles, repeat with your arms circling backward.
Target your hip muscles with the Threading the Needle. Lying on your back, rest your right ankle over your left knee. Then, thread your right hand through your legs and your left hand forward to grasp your left knee. Gently pull your left knee toward you until you feel a stretch in your right hip. Take a deep breath, then switch sides.
Maintaining joint health throughout your life with a healthy diet and weight, regular physical activity, and nutritional support with assistance from helps you continue doing what you love.* You were Made to Move and we want to be there to help make that happen.