How To Build Strong Joints
Isaac Newton stated that an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Similarly a body that is active stays active until an unbalanced force occurs. For many athletes–as well as everyday individuals–often times that unbalanced force is joint pain. So how can you build strong joints today?
Before you can understand how to build strong joints, it’s important to know what joints are and what they do. A joint is where two or more bones meet and are either rigid or movable. In most joints within the body there is cartilage on the ends of the bone to help protect the bones by allowing easier mobility. Joint health allows you to workout, play sports and even simply walk around. So whether you are looking to run a virtual marathon or take the dog for a walk, joint health is of the utmost importance.
The first thing to do is move. The body responds well to movement and consequently will be less stiff. Although your 30 minute boot camp class helps immensely, it isn’t enough. You need to be sure to be moving throughout the day. If you work in an office it can be easy to sit for 8 hours a day. Instead try to take a brisk walk outside on your fifteen minute break. Or anyone who’s working at home with kids, play an active game of charades during your lunch break.
The second thing to do is keep a healthy balanced diet. Calcium and Vitamin D can help strengthen bones. If you are looking to eat to reach your Calcium and Vitamin D goals be sure to keep to whole foods like green leafy vegetables and organic dairy products. Another major necessary nutrient to build joint health is Omega-3 fatty acids. A great source of Omega-3 fatty acids is cold-water fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Omega-3 fatty acids not only help strengthen joints, they can also lower inflammation which can cause joint pain tenderness in people with arthritis.
Oftentimes individuals find that they cannot get enough of these vitamins from diet alone. And maybe you just don’t enjoy a salmon burger. Containing 240 mg of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and 160 mg of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) you are intaking your daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, DHA and EPA are essential fatty acids that have been shown to prevent heart disease and aid in brain health.
Lastly, make sure you are listening to and responding to your body. Going all out in a workout may feel great, but if you are still hurting for more than 48 hours after an exercise, you may have overdone it. Listen to your body and be sure to not push as hard next time. Don’t push through the pain as this can lead to injury or damage. And if you overdid it at the gym, use ice to alleviate your pain. Ice can help numb any aches as well as eases swelling. If you are experiencing sore joints, try a cold ice pack wrapped in a towel. Be sure to never put ice packs directly on skin.
At the end of the day joint health should be the focus for everyone. Whether you are an Olympic snowboarder or someone with an 8a-5p job, you need to strengthen your joints. Be sure to keep moving, as a body in motion will more easily stay in motion. Try to eat a diet high in Vitamin D, Calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids. And finally listen to your body when it tells you to take it easy.