Ranges of motion
It is recommended to regularly move your joints through their ranges of motion every day, as the more you move, the less stiff your joints will become. Avoiding staying stuck in one place is incredibly important for keeping your joints healthy and supple. This movement should be gentle and kept within your joints’ range of motion, such as bending, flexing and rotating your joints and changing your position often. Even if you’re sat down for long periods of time, simply rotate your wrists, ankles and neck and bend your knees and elbows. This will help your movement to stay smooth and flexible.
Healthy weight & healthy diet
Obviously, weight can cause strain on our joints. That’s why maintaining a healthy weight is incredibly important for your joint health. Extra weight will add extra pressure to your joints particularly your hips, back and especially your knees and this will increase your risk of cartilage breakdown.
A heart-healthy diet is also important to looking after your bones and joints. Low-fat dairy products, antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids will help to strengthen your bones, fight and prevent disease and help to maintain your joint health. Stock up on broccoli, spinach, apples, citrus fruits and salmon and limit fatty foods to really help you take care of your joints. Cold water fish that are rich in omega-3 like salmon and mackerel can also help to reduce joint pain caused by inflammation.
Adding dietary supplements
Alongside a healthy diet, you may need a little extra support from certain supplements that are specially designed for helping you to look after your joint health. Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound that is found within healthy joints and plays an important role in the maintenance of your ligaments, tendons, cartilage and synovial fluid that all contribute to the health of our joints. Glucosamine supplements can help to boost glucosamine that may have been lost and combining it with chondroitin has also been proven to reduce pain from damage such as osteoarthritis.
Light & low-impact exercise
Low-impact exercise is definitely the best choice for your joints, as it will keep them moving without causing too much strain. Walking, cycling, swimming and light weight lifting can be incredibly beneficial to keep you flexible and will also strengthen muscles around your joints for extra support. Any high-impact exercise will increase your risk of joint and cartilage damage.
Employ proper body mechanics
Taking on certain body mechanics in your everyday life can seriously help to maintain healthy joints by reducing pressure and wear and tear for them. Your posture when you’re sitting, standing and walking can have great impact on the work of your joints. Bending at the knees to pick something up from the floor, keeping your back straight and avoiding stooping or hunching can relieve your joints and avoid stiffness.