Healthy joints are crucial to move. Healthy joints let you walk, run, jump, play sports, etc. Basically, anything requiring you to bend your arms and legs requires your joints to move. There are several things you can do to improve joint health from exercise and lifestyle changes to diet and supplements for joint health. Here are two ways to improve joint health.
What Is a Joint?
A joint is where two or more bones are joined together. They can be moveable or rigid. An example of a rigid joint is the joints between the bones in your skull since they don’t move. A moveable joint would be like your elbows or knees. Most joints have cartilage which helps them move as it allows for the bones to globe over one another. It’s also protecting the bones since it’s adding a cushion between the bones so they’re not grinding against each other.
Tips to Keep Joints Healthy
1. Keep moving
The more you move, the less stiffness you’ll have. This means taking a break from the couch and the desk to move. It can be as simple as a few squats and lunges every hour or taking a walk on your lunch break. You always want to avoid being stationary for too long. If you’re not moving, not only are you doing your joints a disservice but also your heart and your body. Moving gets your blood pumping which helps blood flow through the body.
When you’re moving, especially before a workout, make sure you stretch! Stretching after a workout once the joints and muscles are already warm is a safe way to stretch. You can also alter your workouts to low-impact exercise to be kinder to your joints. Exercises that don’t hurt the joint due to constant pounding are bicycling, swimming, and strength training. Core workouts are also a great idea to incorporate into your workout routine. A strong core and back help improve your balance. This means you’re less likely to get injured in a fall. Plus, having stronger muscles will help your joints too.
And when you’re moving a lot, you’ll end up losing weight. To maintain healthy joints, you want to maintain a healthy weight. By not allowing extra strain on your joints with excess weight, you’re helping your joints but also your knees, ankles, and back. The Arthritis Foundation found that every pound of excess weight you have is an extra four pounds of pressure on your weight-bearing joints (ankles, knees, and hips).
2. Protect Your Joints
You want to protect the joints you have so they can keep you safe and healthy. This is especially true for contact sports like football or hockey where you’re slamming your body into another human. But this can also be true for non-contact sports like tennis or golf. For those activities, it would be beneficial to wear a brace. Cartilage damage can happen from a sudden sports injury or gradual wear and tear, which is why it’s important to support your joints!
Another way to protect your joints is to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to produce cartilage. One option is eating foods that rebuild cartilage. There are 7 foods that can help: legumes, oranges, pomegranates, green tea, brown rice, nuts, and brussel sprouts. The other option is joint supplements! Joint supplements can ease pain, improve joint health, support joint repair, and reduce inflammation.
Here are our favorite supplements for joint health:
- 5% Nutrition’s Joint Defender
- Selfe’s Joint Envy
- Axe & Sledge’s Elbow Grease
- Universal Nutrition’s Animal Flex
- Universal Nutrition’s Animal Flex Powder
And did you know that fish oil reduces inflammation? And less inflammation means better joint and cartilage health. Here are our favorite fish supplements for joint health:
- Blackstone Lab’ Fish Oil
- Universal Nutrition’s Animal Omega
- Axe & Sledge’s Omega-3
- Nordic Naturals’ Omega-3, 1560 mg Lemon