As we age, our bodies tend to become stiffer and less flexible as a result of decreased lubricating fluid in our joints. The aging process also has an effect on our bone density, the cartilage becomes thinner, and ligaments tend to shorten and lose some flexibility. Over our lifetime, joint trauma and injury can cause a reduced range of motion and discomfort, and diseases including arthritis can crop up. These concerns are especially true in postmenopausal women and those who live a sedentary lifestyle. Joint health is critical to overall health, wellness, quality of life, independence, and safety as we age. In today’s post, we offer a few tips to improve joint health at any age.
1. Keep Moving!
One of the most important things you can do for your body at any age is to keep using it! As we mentioned that as we age bone density is reduced and cartilage and ligaments are affected as well. To strengthen all of these structures regular exercise and use are paramount. It doesn’t really matter what you do to get moving as long as you do it. And, something is better than nothing. If you are active, great job, keep it up! If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, it doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s never too late to make a change. Begin going for walks around your neighborhood several times a week, ride a bike, enjoy a swim, take dance lessons, tend to your garden — just get moving. If you already suffer from joint pain, this may seem like the last thing you want to do, but movement will help reduce most joint pain. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your physician before beginning any exercise routine.
2. Quit Smoking
If you smoke, quit. If you don’t, don’t start. Tobacco use increases inflammation and makes it harder to recover and heal from injuries. By quitting smoking, your blood oxygen levels will increase, offering much-needed nutrients to all of your body’s tissues, including your joints.
3. Drink More Water
Proper hydration is essential to the performance of nearly every body structure and tissue. In fact, cartilage is 80% water and the fluid that lubricates your joints is mostly water. To reduce joint pain and improve flexibility and function, drink plenty of water. Ditch the energy drinks and limit caffeine intake, all of which are diuretics that work to reduce water in the body.
4. Eat to Fuel and Nourish
A balanced diet, rich in joint-supporting vitamins and minerals can naturally have a positive impact on joint health. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and help keep joints well lubricated. Antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables help support joint health and overall wellness. Nuts, seeds, and whole grains can help reduce inflammation in the body, including joints. Ditch the processed foods and eat to nourish your body from the inside out.
5. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Being just 10 pounds overweight can put an extra 30 to 60 pounds of pressure on your bones and joints. If you are in a healthy weight range, you are on track for keeping healthy joints. If you are overweight, a modest weight loss of just 5 to 10% of your body weight can significantly decrease the amount of stress on your joints and help minimize joint pain and stiffness. All of the previous joint health tips are a great way to lose or maintain a healthy body weight while supporting your joints.
6. Offer Support Through Supplementation
It is difficult for most people to get all of the essential nutrients they need from their normal diets. Adding in a joint support supplement that is chock full of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM is a great way to improve your joint health at any age. Try the Neoflex joint supplements from the maker of Viteyes® in a capsule or shellfish-free powder and start living more comfortably today!