The tread on your tires thins and wears out after miles and miles of usage, right? In a similar fashion, the cartilage—a cushioning shock absorber where our bones come together–may thin and wear out over time, and with years of usage. Here are four simple strategies to keep your joints healthy for as long as you want to use them.
- Throughout life, keeping your joints healthy will ease problems when you grow older. Vary your exercise to keep your joints healthy, so that one area of your body is not over-taxed, resulting in damage. Injuries when you are young may develop into arthritis later in your life. Alternate high-impact workouts with low-impact activities, like swimming and walking, and strength training. Stretching will nourish the joint
- Watch inflammation. After exercise, the joints may be inflamed due to the release of synovial fluid. Applying ice to the joints used will decrease the swelling and aid in the natural repair cycle that healthy joints go through. Exercise also sends oxygen-rich blood, nourishing joints and cartilage.
- Eat a healthy diet to keep joints healthy. Fish oil, such as salmon and tuna, may reduce the levels of inflammation in the joints, because they’re loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Research is beginning to imply that vitamin D may protect and keep your joints healthy, by reducing inflammation.
- Losing weight is the best way to lessen cartilage strain and slow the progression of osteoarthritis, which affects us as we age. Joints that support extra weight, such as the knees, experience small tears that break down the cartilage. The less they have to support the better, and the healthier your joints will be.
Consult your doctor about taking supplements, such as calcium, vitamin D, glucosamine/chondroitin and fish oil for healthy shock absorbers,…uh…,healthy joints for your lifetime.