Look­ing af­ter your joints a top pri­or­ity

One thing my grand­mother has al­ways said is ‘‘I don’t mind get­ting old, but it’s all the aches and pains that come with it that I do mind’’.

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

And it’s true. As you get older, in­evitably your joints age too. But you don’t have to put up with the aches and pains that may stop you en­joy­ing your golden years to the fullest. There are a few tips be­low that will help you guard your joints against in­juries such as fall­ing, and dis­eases such as arthri­tis. You can use this in­for­ma­tion to help you main­tain healthy and strong joints. We all know that the joint is the con­nec­tion be­tween two bones. With­out it, you would not be able to bend, and we know this be­cause as our joints de­te­ri­o­rate, bend­ing be­comes a lot harder, mak­ing ev­ery day tasks a mis­sion. When we age, sim­ple things such as sit­ting the wrong way and car­ry­ing too much weight can wear and tear the car­ti­lage in our joints, and this can lead to arthri­tis. The first thing you can do is watch your weight. Ex­cess weight puts pres­sure on your knees, hips and back, and the more you weigh, the more pres­sure is be­ing put on your body to per­form. Re­search even shoes that with ev­ery pound

gained, four times more stress is put on your knee joints alone. This leads onto the sec­ond way you can aid your joints and in­crease your mo­bil­ity, and this is ex­er­cise. Ex­er­cise can help you lose weight and main­tain a healthy life­style. Opt for ex­er­cises that wont put too much pres­sure on those joints, e.g, swim­ming or bik­ing. Don’t sit still. Less move­ment means more stiff­ness. So get up and get mov­ing! Go for a walk, have a stretch, don’t stay glued to the couch or the com­puter screen. Stand when­ever pos­si­ble! Strong mus­cles sup­port your joints. If you don’t have enough mus­cle, your joints are re­lied on heav­ily. Al­ways keep your mus­cles mov­ing, give your

joints a break, no pun in­tended. As we age, we are also prone to more falls due to im­bal­ance. If your ex­er­cise regime in­cludes work­ing your core, it can aid you in keep­ing your bal­ance, which pre­vents falls that dam­age your joints. Or you could just pro­tect your­self. When you take part in any high-risk ac­tiv­i­ties, knee pads, hel­mets, el­bow and wrist pads all come in handy. But the ma­jor way to keep your joints healthy is by keep­ing a healthy, bal­anced diet to build those strong bones. Make sure you are get­ting plenty of cal­cium ev­ery day. You can do this by eat­ing foods such as yo­ghurt, broc­coli, kale, figs and some dairy. If th­ese foods do not in­ter­est you, or are not read­ily avail­able, then seek med­i­cal ad­vice about us­ing cal­cium sup­ple­ments. Salmon is also very ben­e­fi­cial for the health of your joints. Not only does it con­tain cal­cium but it also has omega-3 fatty acids which pro­mote healthy joints and re­duce joint pain and swelling. Not a fan of fish? There are plenty of omega-3 fish oil cap­sules on the mar­ket, and read the la­bel to see which will give you the most omega-3. There are so many ways you can main­tain healthy joints. From ex­er­cise to diet, keep­ing ac­tive and pro­tect­ing your body. Don’t let the aches and pains ruin your golden years.

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