Joints are the meeting points of bones in our body. All of them, irrespective of their variety of shapes and sizes are critically important to our mobility and overall well-being. Studies show that over 25% of the population world-over, suffer from joint or bone related ailments such as arthritis and spondylitis. While these are often hereditary conditions, a few corrective steps every now and then can go a long way in delaying their onset and reducing their effect.
There are 4 Basic Principles to ensure that your joints are in optimal health. These are:
1 . Watch Your Weight
-Major joints like the hips, knees and back carry one’s body-weight while performing daily activities.
-The pressure gets compounded depending upon the nature of activity and more the pressure; more is the wear and tear that the joints are subject to.
-Losing excess weight will go a long way in ensuring health and optimal functioning of all your body joints. Take up an exercise regimen, go for brisk walks or join a gym for shedding those extra kilos.
2 . Gain Some Muscle
-Your joints can surely use a hand in carrying your weight around. Muscles are your best bet in this respect.
-They reduce the pressure being exerted on your joints by supporting them and aids in performing each joint’s range of motion.
-Also, stronger muscles mean a lot less wear and tear of bones, ligaments and tendons and also less prone to injury.Start muscle strengthening exercises that aim to improve muscles around your joints and give added support to your joints.
3 . Improve Your Posture
-Consciously maintaining a correct upright posture is paramount.
-While you are standing your spine should be straight, buttocks pressed against each other, belly in and chest out.
-The chin should be parallel to the ground and the shoulders in line with the ears.
-While sitting your core should firmly rest on the chair’s backrest and it is advisable that you sleep on a firm mattress facing sky-wards.
-Do not slouch when watching TV or using a laptop. It can worsen back pain. Keep your spine erect and sit with both your feet planted firmly on the floor.
4. Eat Right
-There are certain foods which are packed with nutrients with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and repairing properties.
-A lot of salt-water fish like salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel are loaded with Omega 3 Fatty Acids which fight inflammation thereby easing joint-pain. Help yourself to 100-150 grams of fish everyday for best results.
-Including veggies like spinach, kale, lettuce in your diet will improve the condition of your joints as these are excellent sources of nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium and Vitamins C, K and A, which are great for joints. Consume at least a bowlful of leafy greens every day.
-Have fruits like orange, strawberries or lemon daily. Besides essential minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium, they have a high content of Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant that fights tissue/bone damaging free radicals.
-Snack on a handful of nuts like pistachios, walnuts and almonds when you feel hungry in between meals. These nuts contain the anti-oxidant Vitamin E and Omega 3 Fatty acids, nutrients that fight inflammation and improve joint health.
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Now these small changes will feel quite substantial at the start and following these will take a lot of effort and motivation on your part. But once you gradually incorporate these in your daily habits, the benefits will be immense and will surely outweigh the inputs that you invest.Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!