You may have heard to maintain a healthy weight and exercise, but what else can you do to maintain healthy joints throughout your life?
While maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in terms of maintaining joint health, there are other things you can be focusing on to keep the joint pain away! We encourage patients to focus less on what the scale says and more on monitoring what is going into their bodies in a healthy way. Food plays a major role in how our body reacts to inflammation, the culprit of joint pain.
1. Focus on Food
The anti-inflammatory diet is a good place to start if you are looking to maintain your joint health. If you are unsure of where to start, we encourage patients to seek the advice of a nutrition coach to help educate themselves on what foods to include in their diet. Having a support system makes all the difference in your health and fitness journey, and having an educated person giving you advice instead of seeking help online will help filter through potential false information that can lead to confusion amongst patients.
What Foods Help Joint Health?
- Dark leady greens/vegetables (kale, bok choy, arugula)
- Foods high in omega 3's (salmon, flaxseeds)
- Nuts and Seeds
2, Find a Healthy Exercise Balance
You may think staying active puts added stress on your joints and should be avoided, but it actually helps maintain healthy bones and builds muscles that support the joints. By halting your physical activity your body may become weak and your joints will begin to stiffen. Find an exercise you genuinely enjoy doing, whether that be going on walks, swimming, cycling, or weight lifting. Once you find a type of movement you look forward to doing every day, it will encourage you to be consistent and maintain healthy joints.
What are Good Exercises for Joint Health?
3. Maintain or Build Muscle as You Age
It has long been thought that muscle loss is due to aging, but there have been more recent studies showing that muscle loss in older adults has more to do with lack of use than aging. As we age we tend to slow down and avoid muscle-building activities like lifting weights or perhaps heavier objects in the workforce. Weight lifting may seem like an activity that would be harmful to our joints, but it actually helps support them. Having more muscle can also help with stability, balance, immune health, and more.
How Do I Build Muscle as an Older Adult?
We do not expect patients to go run for the dumbells as soon as we recommend weight lifting. There are other forms of exercise that can help build muscle in a safer and more joint-friendly way. If you are new to muscle building, start by using exercises/resistance bands at different resistant levels until you feel comfortable moving into weighted exercise. If you need help starting your muscle-building journey, we encourage you to seek help from a personal trainer.
4. Find a Physical Therapist and Orthopedic Surgeon You Love
When injuries or pain do come your way, know who to turn to for medical advice. It is always best to seek help from professionals rather than suffering alone and seeking advice online. A good orthopedic surgeon will focus on providing the least invasive treatment method before going into surgery. Look up their credentials online and see if they are the right fit for you. Once you know what orthopedic doctor to go to, it is also important to find a physical therapist you love working with.
At Elite, we have 12 orthopedic doctors all specializing in different ailments of the body, making them more experienced in your specific injury or condition. We also offer physical therapy through MPOWER Physical Therapy, a place where our doctors know and trust all physical therapists, personal trainers, and nutrition specialists. See all of our locations and give us a call today here.