According to the Harvard Health Publications, close to 20 percent of people in the United States have arthritis. Our joints glide, roll, bend, rotate, and allow us to walk, sit, jump, run and perform a multitude of activities with ease. However, as we age, the movements that once seemed so simple and easy get complicated as our joints creak and resist movement, causing pain and discomfort. It’s our duty, therefore, to protect our joints, maximize their utility, mobility, and function for as long as we can. How do we protect aging joints, as we get older, especially after we cross our fifties?
Try the following 15 basic tips to protect your aging joints and alleviate joint pain to make life a little easier.
1. Supplement Your Diet With Glucosamine
Glucosamine is the connective tissue building block that helps rebuilt the cartilage that supports and cushions our joints. Since cartilage wears thin as we age, it’s good to take supplementation with glucosamine to regenerate cartilage tissue and promote joint comfort.
2. Add Omega-3 Fats To Your Diet
Food rich in Omega-2 fatty acids such as olive oil and flax seeds help promote joint comfort, based on recent research studies. Omega-3 fatty acids get incorporated into joint cartilage cells, where they set in place several regulatory mechanisms that help your joints move smoothly. Take in a daily fish oil supplement, cook your food with olive oil or eat flax seeds and wheat germ along with your breakfast porridge.
3. Eat Antioxidant-rich Food To Shield Your Joints
Free radicals damage our skin, our muscles, our immune systems and definitely our bones and joints as well. Taking in plenty of antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet along with a daily multivitamin will protect your joints from the daily damage caused by free radical damage. Scientists have discovered that elderly people with better joints contain higher levels of antioxidants in their blood and joint fluids, along with less oxidative damage
4. Take In Regular Exercise
Exercise keeps your muscles well oiled and your joints fluid and supple. Exercises that are specifically helpful to joints are bicycle riding, which is gentle on joints, swimming that allows your body to flex fluidly, and stretches and stair climbing that strengthen your joints and keep you limber.
5. Keep Your Weight Down
The greater your weight, the more wear and tear your joints go through. Over time, your bone structure will be unable to bear your excess weight, and will snap more easily. Your joints can tear and these minute tears in the tender tissue of your joints can get inflamed leading to further complications. Also, obesity can trigger osteoporosis and arthritis, both of which can lead to ultimate joint degeneration.
6. Wear Comfortable Footwear
It’s necessary, as you age, to wear footwear that’s comfortable. Heels, hard soles and tight footwear add pressure on your ankle joints, making them wear out sooner.
7. Avoid Sitting In One Place
Keep your body moving and avoid sitting in one place for more than a half hour. When you remain seated, your joints have to take a great deal of your seated weight, leading to more wear and tear. When you sit back or sleep, use pillows and cushions of the appropriate height, so that the back is straight while you sleep.
8. Keep Your Posture Straight
Sit straight and let your body make a 90-degree angle with your knees; do not stoop. Let your weight rest on your hip and leg bones. Use adequate back support and ensure proper height alignment to a counter, table or desk. When you sit, keep both feet on the floor or foot rail. When you stand, distribute your weight and stress evenly on both feet. Keep your head level; avoid holding the head bent forward nor to one side. Do not sit on your spinal column or tailbone.
9. Enjoy Regular Massages
Regular massages help relax your muscles and joints. Try and get a massage once a week to keep your joints supple and flexible. Don’t crack your joints or pull your fingers and toes.
10. Eats Foods Rich In Vitamin D and Calcium
Foods rich in vitamin D and calcium will keep your bones and joints healthy and supple. Drink milk, take dairy products for calcium, and be partial to broccoli and other foods rich in vitamin D.
11. Get Acupressure For Aching Joints
Acupressure is a great way of alleviating joint pain and discomfort. This alternative treatment method also helps make your joints supple.
12. Do Resistance Training
Strengthen the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joints via consistent resistance training. Doing this protects your joints from damage.
13. Stay Dry And Warm
Rheumatism and arthritis get worse in the cold season. Keep your body warm, and wear full body thermal wear if you live in cold weather regions.
14. Do Not Carry Heavy Loads
Carrying heavy loads will place a greater strain on your joints. Carry things on both shoulders instead of on one. If you use a backpack, ensure that the straps distribute weight evenly on both shoulders.
15. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Tight clothes or clothes made of stiff material can keep your body from expanding naturally. Also, tight clothing can irritate and hamper nerves and disturb your muscle flexing, apart from restricting blood circulation and free flow of lymph fluid. Tight clothes weaken ligaments and can also compress your ribs.
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