6 Tips to Maintain Your Joints
Support Your Joints Naturally.
Joint health is important for youthful aging. Your joints have been one of your biggest supports your entire life, helping you walk, move, sit, stand, jump, and whatever else you enjoy doing. After a while wear and tear takes a toll, making once simple tasks more difficult
Fortunately, there are ways to support your joints and keep you moving more freely. Here is how to support joint health so you can stay active and keep up with your peers.
Put Ice on It
Cold therapy has long been used to promote ease of joints and reduce swelling. Apply an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times per day. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin. Instead, cover gel pack or bag of frozen veggies with a towel first.
Applying a heat pack or warm wet washcloth to achy joints can help reduce occasional pain, swelling, and stiffness. Just 10 minutes of heat application every other day has been shown to ease symptoms.[i] Even a warm shower or bath can ward off stiffness.
Supporting joint health is important for maintaining ease of movement. Herbal supplements including Nutramedix’ Joint Kit can help support healthy joint function.
Curcumin Capsules (Curcuma longa) may help promote joint comfort and healthy joint function by supporting a healthy inflammatory response. It may support a healthy inflammatory response by maintaining levels of C reactive protein (HsCRP) already within the normal range. Curcumin may also help to protect from oxidative stress through antioxidant support.
Serrapeptase Capsules contain the enzyme serrapeptase. Serrapeptase may help to maintain levels of COX-I and COX-II already within the normal range and may help to support a healthy inflammatory response.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Diet is essential for a healthy body and lubricated joints. Maintaining a healthy body weight is equally as important. Your joints function optimally supporting a healthy body weight on your frame.
Effective strategies for doing this include nourishing your body with the right number of calories, protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables, and exercising regularly.
The USDA recommends filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, ¼ of your plate with lean protein (including fish, meat, dairy, poultry, and plant-based proteins), and the remaining ¼ with high fiber complex carbohydrates (including whole grains, rice, potatoes, lentils, beans, and pasta).[ii]
Following appropriate portion sizes is key to getting the right number of calories for your body. Utilize food labels to determine portion sizes and measuring cups to serve food.
Additionally, the CDC recommends adults include 150 minutes (about 2 and a half hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity (can be broken up into 30-minute workouts 5 days per week), and 2 days of muscle strengthening activities each week.[iii] Find activities you enjoy doing and grab a partner, so you are more likely to make it happen.
Good exercise options include:
- Group exercise classes
- Resistance training
- Water activities
Knowing when to rest is important for maintaining healthy joints and strong muscles that support your joints. If you have been going non-stop for days, it may be time to take a break. Being overworked is not good for joint health. Instead, schedule rest breaks at intervals throughout the day – 30 minutes here and there can work wonders on energy levels and feeling great.
In fact, taking a daytime nap can promote healthy joints and healthy levels of inflammation.[iv] Aim for 10 to 40 minutes of napping for optimal relaxation and benefits.[v]
Meeting with a physical therapist who specializes in joint health and support weekly or as often as possible can provide you with techniques and exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints. Doing so can help stabilize your joints and improve range of motion.
Take it a step further by asking your physical therapist for some exercises you can do at home in between sessions to continue your joint support.
Like the rest of your body, maintaining healthy joints is important for a active and comfortable future.
[i] Yildirim N, Filiz Ulusoy M, Bodur H. The effect of heat application on pain, stiffness, physical function and quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J Clin Nurs. 2010 Apr;19(7-8):1113-20. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.03070.x
[iv] Mantua J, Spencer RM. The interactive effects of nocturnal sleep and daytime naps in relation to serum C-reactive protein. Sleep Med. 2015 Oct;16(10):1213-6. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2015.06.014
[v] Dhand R, Sohal H. Good sleep, bad sleep! The role of daytime naps in healthy adults. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2006 Nov;12(6):379-82. doi:10.1097/01.mcp.0000245703.92311.d0