No matter how old you are, maintaining healthy joints is essential to mobility and overall wellness. From the foods you eat to how you spend your day, there are several things you can do to make sure you’re giving your joints the attention they deserve.
Here are some important tips for supporting joint health:
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
The more weight you have, the more pressure your body has on your joints. Getting to a healthy weight will help reduce the stress on your joints, and it will help with every other area of health.
2. Eat a healthy diet.
Like any area of health, eating healthy food will help nourish your body, including your joints. See our list below of the top foods for promoting joint health as well as foods to avoid.
3. Limit caffeine intake.
While caffeine will energize you, it may have a negative effect on your joints. Limit your coffee intake, and try to reduce or eliminate soda from your diet.
4. Take joint health supplements.
Some people need a little extra assistance when it comes to joint health. In this case, try taking a joint- supporting supplement like glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, MSM or a combination formula.
5. Add a multivitamin and mineral supplement.
Some nutrients are missed in the diet, even the really healthy ones. If you need to fill in the gaps, try taking a multivitamin and/or mineral formula, or individual supplements if you need an extra nutrient or two like vitamin D or calcium.
6. Maintain a fitness schedule.
Diet and fitness go hand-in-hand, and it’s the same with joint health. Try some low-impact exercises to keep the strain off your joints while getting in a good workout.
7. Buddy up for walks or group fitness.
Some people enjoy working out alone, but others thrive off making it a group activity. If you need extra motivation to get to the gym or want someone to talk to on your walk, get a fitness buddy. Also, pick activities you’ll enjoy so the workout doesn’t feel like a chore.
8. Avoid working out too much.
While exercise is essential to joint health, make sure not to overdo it. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it 3-5 days each week, depending on the workout. The days off will allow your joints to rest and build up strength.
9. Don’t forget to stretch!
Stretching is another essential part of working out. You don’t want your body to be too tired or too tight after a workout. Give yourself some cool-down time to stretch. This will also help with any soreness if you sit for a while after your workout.
10. Switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.
It’s important to keep your joints active, but not constantly so. Maintaining a balance of sitting/standing throughout the day will help encourage strength and mobility.
11. Maintain proper posture.
Posture is key for joint health. Sitting hunched over your desk will cause upper joint strain over time. Try making a conscious effort to sit or stand up straight throughout the day. Using a chair with low back support will help those who primarily sit during the work day.
12. Ditch high heels.
It’s hard to say no to high heels when they look so pretty, but they’re a big no-no when it comes to joint health. Heels will put a lot of pressure on your knees, which may lead to knee problems in future. Stick to flats; even a wedge is better than heels.
13. Wear shoes with proper cushioning.
The more comfortable your shoes are, the happier your joints will be as a result. Find shoes that offer proper stability and match your arch. Add a shoe insole for extra comfort.
14. Get a massage.
Yes, we’re giving you permission to treat yourself! A massage will help loosen your joints as well as your muscles, especially if you’re working out and dealing with stress on a regular basis.
15. Reduce stress.
Speaking of stress, let’s cut that out as much as possible. Breathing exercises, yoga, taking a bath, drinking chamomile tea, coloring and reading a book are some great options for reducing stress. Find something that you enjoy and make it a regular part of your week, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
16. Get plenty of sleep.
Proper sleep helps with so many areas of health, including your joints. Along with rest days, sleep will help your joints relax from daily activities. The average suggested amount of sleep is 7-9 hours every night, but talk to your healthcare provider to figure out the right amount for you.
17. Avoid watching too much TV.
It’s hard to stay away from the TV with all the amazing shows to choose from, but sitting for long periods of time and staring at technology damages more than just your joints. An hour or two is fine, but make sure to give your eyes time to rest from all screens, not just the TV, and focus on moving around instead.
18. Stop smoking.
I saved an obvious one for last. This expensive habit is damaging to all areas of health. Find a reasonable plan and timeframe for quitting smoking, and put that extra money to good use by buying a new pair of fitness shoes or paying for that massage you know you deserve.
As I mentioned above, a healthy diet is essential for joint health. Here are some great choices for foods and drinks to consume as well as some to avoid if you want to improve the health of your joints.
Foods & Drinks to Support Healthy Joints:
- Cherry Juice
- Red Apples
- Orange Veggies
- Dark Leafy Greens
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Oily Fish
- Low-fat milk
Foods & Drinks to Avoid:
- Trans Fat
How do you help keep your joints healthy?