Maintaining joints is essential if you want to keep up with your favorite activities as you grow older, like running, walking, playing golf, or crafting. And why join our vibrant and thriving community if you can’t enjoy all the amenities we have to offer?
What is a Joint?
A joint is an area of your body where bones join together.
Some joints are more rigid, like the joints found between the bones of the skull. Other joints are movable, like the joints in your hips, knees, and shoulders.
Your joints help your body move in a variety of ways. Some joints are built like hinges, such as your knees and elbows, and others have different ranges of motion, like your shoulders or hip joints. These joints can rotate, move backward or forwards, and sideways.
Most of the joints in your body contain cartilage, which allows your bones to glide over each other, and protects them from rubbing together. Joints help make your skeleton more flexible, and create ease of movement.
How Can I Keep My Joints Healthy?
Keeping your body moving, eating a balanced diet, and sleeping well can help keep your joints in tiptop shape (and the rest of your body too!) What else can you do to improve your joint health? Read on for more tips to help keep your joints in excellent shape through every stage of life.
As we age, it’s easy to ignore the need for regular physical activity. We may be more cautious out of fear of injury, fatigue, or pain. Remember, body movement helps combat stiffness, and your joints are available to help.
Keep moving, even if your joints are starting to feel stiff and sore. The movement will strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints, and help you stay in shape. Don’t stop moving, and reap the benefits of a healthier body.
Be careful with your joints to avoid injuries. Exercise is essential, but don’t overstrain yourself. Carefully protect your joints when doing physical activity. You don’t want to add too much stress or burden to your joints. Pay close attention to:
- Your body’s pain signals
- Activities that add excessive strain to your joints
- Proper body mechanics
- Your balance between rest and physical activity
- Overdoing certain exercises
- Indicators that you may require mobility aids or assistive devices
Maintain a Healthy Weight for Your Body
Joint health depends mainly on how we care for our bodies, and it’s vital to maintain the ideal weight for your body type. Excess weight adds additional stress to our joints.
Weight loss can help reduce pain and stiffness in weight-bearing joints like hips, knees, and ankles. A healthy weight can alleviate additional stress on the joints and minimize the risk of joint damage.
Enjoy Low-Impact Exercise
Low-impact exercise is a gentle type of exercise that avoids placing stress on the joints. These types of workouts can help seniors successfully achieve an exercise routine regularly, without additional pain or strain on the joints.
Low-impact exercises can include:
Keep Your Muscles Strong
Strengthening exercises can help you support the muscles surrounding your joints. These muscles must remain strong to support the joints properly.
Weight training can help you build up your joint-supporting muscles and keep them mobilized and safe. Find a careful balance between rest and physical activity to avoid injury. Using weight properly can help you build strength and increase the durability of your joints.
- Exercises for your core: Strength training exercises that focus on your abdominals, back, and chest.
- Weight-bearing activities: Walking or running can help you maintain a strong bone structure.
- Range of motion exercises: Remember to put your joints through their full range of motion on a daily basis. Rotate, bend, or extend every joint in your body to help improve your flexibility, reduce stiffness, and keep your joints functioning.
Improve Your Posture
If you are frequently imbalanced or not using proper posture, it can lead to additional strain on your joints, increasing your risk of injury.
Remain aware of your posture, especially when:
- Performing repetitive movements
- Carrying objects
- Lifting or setting down objects
Being mindful of your posture can help protect you from joint damage or injury to the muscles surrounding the joints.
Take Care of Your Joints
It may seem simple, but by taking good care of your joints, your joints will take good care of you. Keep your joints active and moving, even on cold days, and when you’re feeling stiff. Movement is critical in keeping your joints healthy.
If you have more questions about joint health, or would like more information about our happy and healthy community at Villages of Farragut, reach out to our knowledgeable staff. We are passionate about keeping seniors moving and would love to help!