Jump-Start your Joints Health

joint pain

Many people with arthritis resist regular physical activity or exercise because they fear it will increase pain or further damage their joints. The body is supposed to move; our joints allow for movement.

In fact, movement eases joint stiffness, reduces joint pain, strengthens the muscles which surround the joints, and help us maintain a healthy weight. The benefits are real, so keep moving!

Hip and knee replacements used to be for “old folks,” but new data from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reveals a troubling surge in joint replacement surgeries for the under-65 set.

Here are five easy changes to make now so your joints will last a lifetime.

Try: Food-based antioxidants

Why they Work: Antioxidants combat the oxidative stress associated with inflammation and joint diseases like arthritis.
Make the change: Eat 1 cup per day of red or purple fruits, such as berries, cherries, pomegranates, or red grapes, or drink 1 cup juice without added sugar.

Try: Omega-3 fatty acids

Why they work: These polyunsaturated fats are naturally anti-inflammatory.
Make the change: Sprinkle omega 3–rich ground flaxseeds onto your morning cereal, or add a handful of walnuts to yogurt or salads.

Try: Strengthening your quadriceps

Why it works: Strong quads support your knees, reduce pain, and prevent cartilage loss.
Make the change: Sign up for spin classes, and add squats to your warm-ups every time you work out.

Try: Weight loss

Why it works: Each pound of extra weight results in a fourfold increase in the load exerted on the knee per step.
Make the change: Incorporate low-impact aerobic activity three times a week: Walk, bike, or swim for 30 minutes.

Try:  Vitamin D and Calcium

Vitamin D and calcium are two nutrients that are required for healthy bones. Vitamin D is actually needed for calcium absorption. You can obtain vitamin D through sun exposure, diet, or supplementation.

Many people need some supplementation. Your healthcare provider can order a blood test to determine if you are deficient in vitamin D. Low calcium is associated with decreased bone density and increased fracture risk.

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