Its importance is understated but joints in our body are of critical importance. A joint is the location where bones connect and help in movement and support. All of our bones, except for one (the hyoid bone in the neck), form a joint with another bone and all our joints are constructed to allow movement (except for skull bones). Without the proper functioning of joints, it may become very difficult for a person to move. Hence it is very important to keep your joints healthy.
Healthy joints are not difficult to attain and the following tips should be kept in mind.
Have the correct weight
It is important to maintain and have a good body mass index. This means one should not be overweight or obese. Extra weight on your body ultimately means your bones and joints have to bear the excess pressure. This is especially true for your knees. Keeping your weight in check will go along way in maintaining healthy joints for your body. A correct weight can be obtained by regular workouts and healthy eating habits.
The right food
Exercising is good for your joints as it helps prevent joint injuries and decrease joint pain. Exercises are aimed at building muscles around joints so that it provides greater stability. Exercises also helps keeps the joins active and reduces the chance of arthritis. Range-of-motion exercises are common to keep the joints active and reduce stiffness. Swimming, cycling, weight training is also good. However, jogging, running and jumping is generally not considered ideal for your joints. Remember to warm up before any exercise or else you may be doing more harm than good.
Weight lifting is good for your joints but must be done under careful supervision. One must ensure that the weights are not too much that that it strains your joints. This would be counter productive. It is very important to have a correct technique when doing weights. Doing weights builds up muscles and strengthens joints but doing too much in too little a time can damage tendons and ligaments. Choose lighter weights initially, do more repetitions and then eventually work up to heavier weights. Remember you are doing weights to keep your joints healthy and not win an Olympic medal.
Stretching is one of the best ways to keep your joints healthy. While stretching is considered a part of exercise but for someone hard pressed for time even a five minute stretch everyday can do wonders for the joints. Stretching ensures muscles and ligaments stay flexible and fit.
Staying hydrated is very important for the body. Lack of water can lead to achy bones and joints. Synovial fluid, which is the lubricant between joints, is primarily made of water (about 80 percent) and this makes it very important to consume plenty of water every day.
Wear right shoes
Sometimes it is as basic as wearing the right shoes. Shoes soak up a lot of weight and pressure of the body, especially when standing and it is vital we get it right. Sneakers are generally considered good for joints while walking. While it may look good, for women high heels generally leads to joint pains. Women who have a lot of walking to do should opt for flats.
The European Journal of Epidemiology recently stated that Glucosamine, an over-the-counter health supplement is helpful in maintaining healthy joints. Similarly extracts from the boswellia plant, turmeric, avocado and soybean oil are all considered good for joints.
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 23, 2013