Focus on Joint Health This Year

Physical well-being that anybody can easily set a goal to improve: joint health. Joints definitely fall into the category of “things we don’t appreciate until they’re gone,” or, in this case, “things we don’t appreciate until they’re tight, swollen, or aching.” We don’t give our joints a second thought until they’re bothering us, and by that point, it’s often too late.

Joint health is vitally important, as every moving part of our body relies on joints to do just that. They’re easy to take care of, too, so long as you make an effort to do a few simple exercises and take other measures to ensure that they last longer and stay healthy. So in honor of the new year, here’s a short guide to a reasonable, manageable goal that you can definitely do this year: Taking care of your joints.

Get Active

“Getting active” doesn’t need to include going on hundred-mile hikes or participating in extreme sports. It can include going for short walks, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even just doing a few squats every now and then. The less our joints are used, the more quickly they deteriorate, so taking some time each day to get up and get moving will help keep your joints healthy for years to come.

Stick to Low-Impact Exercises

Low-impact exercises are ones that don’t include a lot of jumping, cutting, quick movements, or anything else that will put a lot of stress on joints. Walking, yoga, bicycling, and water sports are great examples of low-impact exercises. One of the first steps to taking care of our joints is to not intentionally put them under too much stress and sticking to low-impact exercises will help with that.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

While this step is definitely easier said than done, it is one of the most important things we can do for our joints. Back to the point about not putting our joints under excessive amounts of stress, if we are too heavy, every step will do just that. Conversely, if we’re too skinny, we likely don’t have enough muscles surrounding our joints to protect them and keep them from injury. So for all intents and purposes, maintaining a healthy weight is ideal for joint health. In the same vein, you may want to look into using supplements to help support your body and joints. For instance, turmeric and black pepper and ginger can help with inflammation and pain, so it may be wise to take them in a convenient way that keeps you moving.

Perform Range of Motion Exercises
Improving your range of motion is as simple as raising your arms above your head or doing a few jumping jacks. The point of the range of motion exercises is to remind your joints how and how far they’re supposed to move. Much like a machine, if our joints don’t frequently move to their limit, they can get stiff and even painful when we try to move them to their limit.

Stretching your muscles will improve joint health as well. The tighter your muscles become, the more they pull on your joints, which increases their stress load. Be sure to set aside some time each week to do some basic stretches. Your joints will thank you!

Focus on Joint Health This Year

This year, take some time to give your joints some love and care. Even if they’re not bothering you now, doing a few range of motion exercises or going on a short walk won’t take long and will have a lasting positive impact on your joint health.

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