Exercise for the Joints

Exercise is important for a lot of body functions, though especially joint health.

Most people only think about their joints when they hurt or are not working properly, however, if we do little things to help our joints we will have happy, healthy joints long into our old age.

So, what are joints?

Joints are made up of cartilage, synovial fluid (joint fluid), synovial membranes, bursas, tendons, and ligaments. All of these different tissues in the body work together to give us the mobility, flexibility, and movement that we need from our bones in our day-to-day lives.

How To Have Healthy joints:

Have you heard the saying "use it or lose it"? Well, it's a true statement for a lot of different aspects of our body and life in general, but in the current circumstances, we are going to talk about the joints.

If you keep moving your joints, the joint fluid will consistently move and bathe the cartilage in the new nutrient-rich fluid.

In a study done in Australia between 1990 and 2004, participants were asked a series of questions pertaining to their exercise regime and had an MRI done. The participants that did the most rigorous weight-bearing exercises had the thickest and healthiest knee cartilage. This study shows that the most burdensome exercise forces the body to regenerate and lubricate itself.

You don't have to be an Olympic weight lifter to have healthy joints, brisk walking for 30 minutes, dancing, hiking, or the like can help your joints.

By losing those extra pounds that you have been carrying around will help the joints, especially your knees. Excess weight puts more stress and wears down the joints. The knees bear a large amount of weight, however, the excess weight around the hips may cause the back to feel weak and unsupported. Losing that excess will encourage longevity and strength in the joints.

Stretching is great before and after exercise because it warms up the muscles and joints, as well as helps with mobility and range of motion when exercising. Gentle movement and stretching like yoga will help the joints hold more weight and flexibility in the long run.

Eat a diet high in Omega-3 fats.  Omega-3 fats from deep-sea fish are some of the most beneficial fats for lowering inflammation. If you are not a big fish eater or don't eat it at least 2-3 times a week then I would recommend supplementing.  check out this blog just about omega-3's and their benefits

"You are what you eat!" is another saying that comes to mind when thinking about joint health. How are we going to have healthy, happy joints if we are not eating any components of joints in our food? Way back when humans first starting evolving, they would shoot an animal and use the entire thing. They would use the bones and joints in soups, use the hides for clothing, and cook the flesh to feed everyone.

Now think about our current diets. Do you eat any joints of animals? Or skin? Or more importantly the good fats and collagen in the joints or under the skin?

Next time you get a whole chicken or turkey after you eat most of the meat, boil the remainder, the bones, and joints for about 45 minutes until the bones almost fall apart.  Take out all of the hard pieces and add some of your favorite veggies, cook till tender and enjoy. Boiling it for so long will break down the cartilage, as well as get some marrow out of the bones, which are all great for the joints.

Many people are grossed out by the thought of eating the joints, and if that is you, then it might make sense for you to look into supplements for any joint issues.  Check out my supplements page - joint health section

 

In Joint Health and Happiness,

~Nikki

 

 

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