How’s your joint health? Many of us don’t even think about our joints, unless they begin to trouble us. When a joint or tendon becomes painful, however, it’s hard to think of anything else! How can you improve your joint health? A few simple lifestyle changes can improve not only your joint health, but also your overall health and well being.
- Stretch. You don’t have to be proficient at yoga, but it’s a good idea to get a good stretch at least twice a day. Stretching improves your flexibility and reduces inflammation in your muscles and joints.
- Work your muscles. Strong muscles support your joints, reducing pain and stiffness. Focus on strengthening the core muscles of your chest, back, and abdomen, because these muscles support your frame and help you to balance. Aerobic exercise helps your joints too, because it can reduce joint swelling, as well as helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Fewer pounds amount to less stress on the joints, which means less joint pain.
- Drink your water. You probably already know that hydration is important to your health and wellbeing, but did you know it’s important to your joints. Adequate water helps keep cartilage soft, and your joints well lubricated, reducing wear and tear.
- Improve your diet. It’s a proven fact that processed and fatty foods are bad for you. Your joints suffer from the inflammation caused by preservatives, carbohydrates, and fats. Joint friendly foods, like those high in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as raw fruits and vegetables, which help you stay hydrated, can improve joint performance and reduce pain.
- Stand up straight! Your mom told you, and she was right: good posture is important. When you use good posture, you protect your joints from your neck to your knees, as well as guarding your back muscles. It’s especially important to use good posture when carrying or lifting. If you’re carrying a backpack, use both your shoulders. When you’re lifting, bend your knees instead of your back, in order to utilize your body’s largest muscles correctly.
Improving your joint health is an important step down the path toward living your best life. At our clinic, we help patients care for their joints, along with the rest of their bodies, through a holistic approach to health that treats them like whole people, not a collection of symptoms. To learn more about how we can help you reach your optimal wellness potential, visit our website or call today to schedule your free consultation.