Joint health is essential for optimal body functioning, especially as we age. There are the obvious, large joints to take care of (the knees, hips, and shoulders) but did you know know the human body has between 250-350 joints?! There are 30+ joints in the hand alone! Joints provide the mechanical structure to allow for body movement, so whatever your activity of choice, whether it’s hiking Machu Picchu to typing on a keyboard, flexible muscles and lubricated joints are fundamental to allow for proper range of motion.
If our joints are not in healthy working order, this can lead to feelings of discomfort, or even Osteoarthritis (OA), also called degenerative joint disease. OA results from deterioration of cartilage and thickening of the bones underneath in one or more joints in the body. This causes inflammation, pain and stiffness and affects more than 10% of Canadian adults. If severe enough, joints may need to be replaced in later life.
Luckily, there are steps you can take now to avoid any joint complications down the road. And if you’ve already been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, you can employ these behaviours to slow down joint degeneration and increase mobility. This is why we strongly suggest treating your joints like gold: develop daily practices and a lifestyle that supports joint flexibility, strength and longevity.
The most important step to take in caring for joints is frequent movement. You’ve heard the age old saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” By exercising the muscles around the joints, you will keep the structure strong and intact. Visit Piedmont Health for instructions on how to perform these three exercises that protect the major joints of the body:
- The bodyweight squat – protects the knees, ankles, and hips
- The assisted or unassisted pull-up – protects the shoulders and elbows
- The push-up – protects the shoulders and elbows
There are lots of other exercises you can find online as a guide to keeping your joints mobile. But in general, make a point daily to move as frequently as possible: take the stairs instead of the elevator; stretch before and after each workout; carry your grocery bags instead of wheeling them around in a cart. These may sounds like small things, but instilling these daily habits will help your joints out in the long run.
The next tip we have for ensuring optimal joint health is eating healthy fats: research has shown that increasing omega-3 fat consumption can reduce the inflammation that causes arthritic cartilage destruction. Healthy fats can be found in avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, salmon and flaxseed. Consuming krill oil is another way to support joint health. Krill is a small crustacean similar to shrimp, and is often consumed in supplement form in either a capsule or liquid form. Krill oil helps reduce inflammation and joint pain (in addition to lowering cholesterol and helping with heart disease – bonus!)
And lastly, in addition to moving your body and eating your nutrients, we suggest keeping our JointStart Supreme in your joint health first aid kit. JointStart Supreme offers fast, effective relief from joint pain and stiffness and is guaranteed to improve mobility and range of motion due to osteoarthritis. This healing formula reduces inflammation and improves range of motion and mobility; minimizes joint pain with safe, natural herbal ingredients; rebuilds cartilage and stops the painful deterioration and swelling of joints; promotes joint lubrication and prevents cartilage breakdown, improves lubrication and increases elasticity of the cartilage; AND strengthens connective tissue. Paired with regular exercise and healthy eating, JointStart Supreme is the final key to treating your joints like gold.
We hope these tips have helped encourage you to stay on top of your joint health and develop practices to keep yourself mobile and active well into your later years of life.