myriad of ways to protect joint health
You've probably heard of a myriad of ways to protect joint health. Optimal weight maintenance helps to relieve an overload of stress on weight-bearing joints; low-impact exercises like cycling, swimming and aerobic exercises assist circulation and are helpful for repairing damaged joints.
Here are a few not-so-well-known, but important, ways to check and support joint health:
Check for Stiffness in Your Joints.
If joint stiffness is prevalent you might want to consult your physician. If you find your joints stiffen up after sitting for a long time and it takes some time before you are comfortable enough to walk, your doctor might tell you it's to start taking some proactive measure for supporting joint health.
Check Your Posture.
Your body is aligned in a way that balances the tension in your muscles and joints. Poor posture can disturb this balance causing a strain in muscles. Persistently poor posture can add imbalance and tension to your joints as well. Over the years, especially as you age, this could possibly lead to poor joint support. Make sure you are standing and sitting up straight with your shoulders pulled back and your chest extended slightly forward. The position should not be forced, but a comfortable stress-free stance. Keep your stomach pulled in slightly as you walk. Sitting postures are important, too, especially because many of us hold desk jobs that require us to sit for 8 to 10 hours a day.
Stretching the muscles and joints helps to keep them lubricated and well-oiled for smooth function. Joints should feel loose and flexible no matter which way you stretch them. Multi-directional stretching (also called joint play) helps to strengthen joints and enable them to absorb shock and minimize injury to joints caused by the jolts of daily life.
Maximize Your Range of Motion for All Joints. Joints that are not used to their maximum range of motion can lose their flexibility and get stuck in mid-range functional movement. If you find you cannot move a particular joint to the full range of motion it means that your joint is in need of rehabilitation, even if there is no pain involved. Make sure you move each joint of your body to its maximum range at least once a day.
It's not enough to exercise those same muscles and joints everyday. You need to vary your exercise routine with strength training exercise, low-impact or no-impact exercises such as aerobics, swimming and Pilates, combined with stretches and relaxation exercises like yoga. Doing the same exercises every day can lead to greater wear and tear of only particular joints.Loosen the Lumbar. Bending helps to lubricate the joints in the spinal cord. Be careful to bend forward slowly and as much as your body allows with comfort. Don't strain your back trying to bend forward. Gradually, as the spine loosens up you'll find you are able to bend down more easily.
Get a Goodnight's Rest.
Your joints need to rest in order to recuperate from the daily jolts and shocks that come with every day living. This is the time the body uses to repair damages done, replace old cells with new cells. The body rejuvenates itself through a goodnight's rest.
Use a Well-Formulated Joint Supplement.
Glucosamine sulfate has been well-studied for its role in supporting and maintaining long term joint health. Other ingredients to look for in a joint supplement are hyal joint, MSM, Interhealth collagen type II as well herbs like boswellin known to help relieve joint discomfort. Physician-approved formulas like GoFlex are known to be safe and effective in supporting joint health. They also come with a topical cream, containing an Food and Drug Administration-approved ingredient for times when you need fast-acting pain relief.