Joint health is a critical part of your well-being, health, and independence. If you have arthritis, you probably already know the importance of taking care of your joints. The good news is that getting older doesn’t have to prevent you from doing all of the activities you enjoy on a daily basis. These tips will help you age-proof your joints and contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle, too.
1. Wear Sensible Shoes
Your shoes really do affect your joints. Shoes that do not offer support or put extra strain on the feet, ankles, and knees can contribute to a variety of joint problems. If you have to stand on your feet all day, get fitted for shoes that offer good support and stability. Avoid wearing high heels whenever possible. According to the Arthritis Foundation, high heels put a great deal of strain on the inside of your knees. Wearing the wrong shoes can contribute to back pain, too. If you need new walking shoes, go to a specialty footwear store. Here, fitting experts can study your gait and offer you the correct shoe for your exercise and walking needs.
2. Lose Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is key for joint health, yet many people struggle to lose weight. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, although 68 percent of Americans are currently overweight or obese, obesity is one health problem that can be reversed. Even losing 5 or 10 pounds can provide immediate and long-term health benefits.
The Arthritis Foundation reported that a 2005 study suggests losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. This means losing just 10 pounds would relieve 40 pounds of pressure from your knees. The good news is that eating a sensible diet doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Speak to a nutritionist or licensed dietician to help you improve your eating habits and nutrition.
3. Get Moving
You might dread the thought of exercise if you have joint pain. But experts agree that regular exercise can help ease inflammation and improve joint function. Whether you choose walking, swimming, or another joint-friendly activity, start off slowly for best results. Gradually increase the time you spend exercising as your body gets stronger.
Before you know it, you will feel better and your joints will thank you for staying active. There is no reason to take drastic measures when it comes to exercise. Sensible and consistent activity is a great place to start. Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
4. Balance Your Nutrition
According to the Arthritis Foundation, enjoying a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and beans is a great way to jump-start your joint health. These principles are often recommended for their anti-aging and disease-fighting benefits. What’s more, reducing the amount of junk food and processed food you eat relieves inflammation. Inflammation is a common problem for people who experience joint pain. And because most processed food is loaded with sugar or artificial sugars which can worsen inflammation, it’s a good idea to eliminate these foods from your diet.
5. Build Muscle Strength
Advanced muscle loss affects nearly 1 in 3 people over the age 50, according to recent studies. Muscular strength is important for everyday physical tasks such as lifting groceries and reaching for things on a shelf. But healthy muscles are also necessary for organ function, joint health, and a healthy metabolism. These factors are just a few reasons to maintain muscular strength as you get older.
Regular exercise that includes strength training will help safeguard your muscles – and more importantly – your joints. For example, people who experience knee pain often find their pain improves from strengthening the muscles that surround the knee joint. Talk to a physical therapist or your doctor to create an exercise routine that will help you improve your strength.
As you age, taking care of your joint health is even more important to your good health. Flexogenix® offers nonsurgical treatment options so you can avoid risky surgical procedures and enjoy your active lifestyle. Call today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about nonsurgical treatment options that help you manage joint pain.