A joint is the connection between two bones. Joints and their surrounding structures allow you to bend your elbows and knees, wiggle your hips, pivot your back around, turn your head, and do just about everything in your daily life!
Here are some tips for good bone and joint health:
Boost your calcium intake, as doing this can help keep your bones strong and can lower your risk of osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease). Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, salmon and calcium products, such as VITRUM® CALCIUM + D3. It is especially important for women to make sure they are getting enough Calcium, particularly as they age.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate products are used by many to slow the progression of osteoarthritis - the deterioration of cartilage between joint bones - and to reduce associated pain. Both Glucosamine and Chondroitin are naturally occurring molecules in the body. Chondroitin works together with Glucosamine to block the action of cartilage-damaging enzymes, and promotes the healthy flow of water and nutrients into cartilage producing cells. Products such as ARTHRON® COMPLEX, and ARTRA® are good sources of these useful minerals.
Watch the Scales!
Keep your weight within a healthy range. Weight-bearing joints, such as your knees, hips, and back, have to support some, if not all, of your body weight. Obesity can cause major joint health issues when your body is forced to carry around more than it is designed to move.
If you consistently practice range-of-motion stretching exercises, you will find that your muscles and ligaments develop greater levels of flexibility and strength. Both your muscular and ligament health are essential to your overall joint health.
Strength training is an excellent way to boost your metabolism, while at the same time creating denser bones and building stronger muscles that help stabilize and protect joints. Remember to start slow with any new exercise routine, and always consult your doctor first.
Regular Check Ups!
Go at least once a year to your doctor and ask him to carefully examine your joints, while recounting to him in detail any joint issues you may have. Your doctor should be able to advise you on ways to keep your joints healthy, and also be able to start treating small problems before they become large ones that negatively affect your lifestyle.