Joint pain is usually associated with older individuals, but there are things we can do now to prevent that pain. Learn how to keep your joints healthy before they start to ache.
The importance of joint health cannot be overstated. Without healthy joints, we wouldn’t be able to move anywhere – which is why preventing damage to them is so crucial.
According to sports medicine physician Dominic King, DO, “prevention really is the best medicine when it comes to joint pain.” If you want to minimize the joint pain that comes with age, try these tips before it’s too late.
How to Keep Joints Lubricated: Water
Staying well-hydrated is not just beneficial for your skin and overall wellbeing. Your joints use water to work, and if you’re dehydrated, your body will use the water meant for your cartilage and other areas to stay hydrated.
To avoid damaging your joints, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Get rid of sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks; water will help deliver better hydration to your system and keep your joints lubricated.
If you want to go further, try eating food for healthy joints and cartilage such as dark green leafy vegetables, oily fish, and avocado.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
While exercise is important, it’s harmful to your joints if you start exercising without any warmups or stop without cooling down.
Skipping it can put your joints at risk of overloading and straining. Warmups and cooldowns shouldn’t take too long – about five minutes should be good.
Focus on the muscles you’ll be using during your workout. You can try doing walking lunges, sumo squat side lifts, and other exercises.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
When it comes to joint health, maintaining a healthy weight is essential. Being either overweight or underweight can cause joint issues.
Your knees feel 20 to 39 pounds of extra force for every additional 10 pounds you carry past your ideal weight. Underweight individuals lack the muscle necessary to keep their joints strong and stable.
Try a diet that will help reduce inflammation like the Mediterranean diet and perform physical activities that won’t strain your joints like swimming or yoga.
Don’t Strain Yourself
No pain, no gain, right? Wrong. Real joint pain after exercise or at any other time means it’s time to see a doctor.
A certain level of soreness is expected after working out. However, if you experience joint pain or lasting pain that won’t go away after exercising, it means you need to see a doctor.
It could be due to something as simple as correcting bad form, but it could also be signs of something more complex like early-onset osteoarthritis.
Quit Smoking for Good
Lung cancer is not the only downside to smoking. Using tobacco products increases inflammation throughout the body, making it harder to heal and recover.
Individuals who quit smoking can experience higher oxygen levels in the blood in just eight hours, as well as a normal carbon monoxide level in the blood.