How to Give Your Joints a Break
By Sara Butler
Your joints work exceptionally hard for you. They are complex structures that help you talk, walk, bend, sit, stand, lift, and just generally stay upright as you dance, chew, and type your way through the day. If you really think about it, every move you make requires a joint to do it. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your joints and keep them in proper working order. Here are a few ways you can give your joints a break and give them a little TLC.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight adds a lot of stress to your joints that are weight bearing, increasing the wear and tear they experience over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report arthritis to impact 20 percent of Americans, but that number goes up to 33 percent if you’re not maintaining a healthy weight.
Just keep in mind that for every pound you can shed, you can take 4 pounds of pressure off your joints. So work to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Go Low Impact
Running, jumping, and stair climbing are all considered high-impact activities. That means they put a lot of stress on your joints and the structures that support them. You need exercise to be healthy, but consider rotating high-impact exercises with low-impact exercises for the sake of your ankles, knees, hips, and spine.
A few low-impact exercises to consider:
- Stationary bikes
- Rowing machines
- Treadmill walking
All of these activities help to maintain the proper range of motion in your joints while being gentle on them too.
Make sure you’re performing strength training exercises during your workout. This helps to make your joints stronger and, if done correctly, help to protect your joints from injury. Even if you have joint damage or arthritis, you can still perform strength training moves that will work to maintain range of motion and reduce pain. The real key is to practice good form and do more repetitions with less weight.
Flexibility is also crucial to your joint health. A daily stretching program can help you to maintain your flexibility and exercise such as yoga and Pilates can help to increase flexibility while also building strength.
Take care of your joints and they'll take care of you for the rest of your life! If you have questions, the chiropractors at The Joint are always here!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Knightdale, N.C.