Aging comes with some changes that are simply inevitable. Wrinkles and grey hair, for instance, are a natural progression of the body that can’t be avoided no matter what you do. Muscle, bone, and joint changes were also once thought to be unavoidable. New research has discovered that many of the factors linked to aging are caused by inactivity and a lack of specific nutrients and that physical activity and the use of particular vitamin supplements can help reduce or reverse the risk of disability and chronic diseases.
Common conditions that affect the bones and joints as you age include:
- Osteoarthritis – happens when a joint’s cartilage deteriorates, resulting in discomfort and stiffness.
- Osteomalacia – happens due to issues with the metabolism of vitamin D, leading the bones to become soft.
- Osteoporosis – happens when the bones become fragile due to mass loss. Fractures become more prone to happen.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – happens due to inflammation of the joints.
- Muscular weakness and soreness – any of the disorders listed above can impair the proper functioning of the muscles involved.
Taking good care of your joints and bones is the best thing you can do to stay mobile, prevent bone and joint diseases and do the things you love no matter your age. Considering the fact that joint and bone health go hand in hand, the strategies to safeguard these body parts are generally the same. The following are some easy techniques to protect your joints and bones and improve your day-to-day function.
Add Supplements to Your Diet
When it comes to keeping bones and joints healthy, vitamins, minerals and other supplements play an important role. Although a good diet can provide many of the elements required for bone and joint health, supplementation can guarantee that you get everything you require. There is also the fact that most of the food we consume on a daily basis is highly processed and depleted of nutrients. Even foods that appear to be healthy may be deficient in vital nutrients that are essential for your body’s well-being.
Luckily you can make up for the loss with several options of supplements and vitamins to help bones and joints available on the market. Here’s a look at some essential ones you may want to give a try.
Vitamin C is important for immune system function as well as the creation of collagen, a protein necessary for bone mineralisation. Taking this joint health supplement on a daily basis can also assist to lower the risk of inflammatory arthritis and keep joints healthy. Vitamin C is advised in daily doses of 75mg for women and 90mg for men. Vitamin C pills are generally free of negative effects.
Vitamin D is essential for the body to be able to absorb the calcium from food. When you are exposed to sunlight, your body creates vitamin D, but too much sunlight also exposes you to too much UV radiation, which can cause skin cancer. This is why getting vitamin D from meals or supplements is recommended.
Calcium is necessary for strong and healthy bones. It also aids blood circulation and muscle control. When our bodies don’t get enough calcium, they start removing it from our bones. Over time this can eventually lead bone deterioration, which can then result in osteoporosis. Calcium can only be derived from food or supplements because your body cannot create it on its own. Calcium supplements can be quite helpful in reducing joint inflammation and pain.
Glucosamine, while not so popular, belongs to the group of vitamins to help bones and joints. Its ability to aid in bone regeneration and cartilage preservation makes glucosamine especially beneficial to those who suffer from joint pain. Glucosamine is also known for helping reduce inflammation associated with joint pain. Because glucosamine levels tend to fall with age, this is an important supplement to know for older persons with osteoarthritis. Keep in mind that after you start taking glucosamine supplements, it might take a few months for you to notice improvements in joint issues.
If you’re a couch potato or work requires you to sit in front of the computer all day, know that this increases your risk for joint pain and stiffness. That is because less movement equals more stiffness in your joints. While a stand-up desk can help turn your office into a more active workspace, nothing can beat the benefits of weight-bearing exercises for bone and joint health.
Also called resistance exercise, weight-bearing activities don’t actually include weights. They are activities that require your body to work against gravity, resulting in pressure that stimulates bone formation and density. Weight-bearing exercises include walking, hiking, dancing, and playing tennis.
For joint health, not only weight-bearing, but all kinds of exercise can get helpful. The key to exercising with aching joints is to find joint-friendly activities that keep the load off your joints while yet getting you moving. Exercises such as stationary bicycling, yoga, strength training, and pilates can all benefit your joints and help decrease stiffness and other symptoms.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight puts the weight-bearing joints in the body such as those in the knees, ankles, hips and back through additional strain. According to research, every kilo of extra weight you carry adds 2 kilos of extra pressure to your weight-bearing joints. By reaching a healthy weight and keeping it, you can reduce the stress on your joints and lower your risk of joint illness.
For that, there are plenty of proven weight-loss strategies you can try. The only thing you should avoid is dropping your calorie intake too low. This will not only cause your metabolism to slow down, creating rebound hunger and causing muscle mass loss but can also be harmful to bone health. Experts say that a diet that provides fewer than 1,000 calories per day can result in lower bone density in individuals who have normal weight as well as those who are overweight or obese.
Ideally, you should follow a well-balanced diet that provides at least 1.200 calories per day and that includes plenty of protein and foods packed with vitamins and minerals to build and maintain strong bones and joints.
Maintain Proper Posture
Another effective way to prevent adding stress to your joints and reduce your risk of injury to the surrounding muscles is using the correct posture in everything you do. So, while doing repeated actions, sitting and standing, pay attention to your posture – especially when moving or lifting heavy things. You can also improve your posture at work by making your office more ergonomically correct. With minimum effort, you may attain good posture and enhance your bone and joint health.