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16 Ways to Maintain Strong Joints

Simple ways to protect your joints and keep them safe and strong

Joints are the points of the body where bones come together. Bones are connected to other bones attached by tendons, while muscles’ connection to the bone are with ligaments. The sinew fibers of tendons and ligaments are much different than muscle fibers. Keep strong joints and core with these simple tips.

There are many simple ways to keep joints safe and strong. Add as many of these as you can to your life. They will add years to your life as well as life to your years by keeping joint structure safe and strong.

Strong joints
Move to keep joints strong

  1. Keep Moving: your joints contain a sac of synovial fluid that is used to lubricate the area. To keep the fluid moving, the joint has to be moved. Moving is the simplest form of keeping joints safe and strong. The more the body moves, the less likely stiffness sets in. Remember the old adage, if you don’t use it, you lose it. If you don’t move your joints, they will stop moving.
  2. Use ProperEquipment: The use of proper equipment for activities is very important. Helmets and knee/elbow pads for biking, braces for pickleball/tennis or golf, and goggles/ear plugs for swimming. Whatever your sport, make sure to obtain and use the proper equipment to keep your joints safe and strong throughout the entire movement.
  3. Proper bodyweight: Bones and joints were built to carry and move so much weight. Maintaining proper body weight is essential for maintaining healthy joint structure. Many knee and hip replacements could be avoided if the proper body weight were maintained.
  4. Stretch after workout: When muscles are warm, that is the best time to stretch. Tendons and ligaments have blood rushing through them and can be safely stretched. When muscles are worked they are contacted. Stretching will help heal and recover muscles and stretching helps tendons and ligaments maintain flexibility and strength.
stretch for safe joint structure
Stretch for joint safety

5. Go Low impact: have you been hitting it hard with plyo, running, or CrossFit? That is a lot of pressure on the joints. Try going low impact to give your joints a break and give them some recovery. You may find you recover quicker and even gain endurance.

6. ADD MUSCLE:LIFT WEIGHTS. I can not emphasize this enough. Cardio is for the heart. Hence the name! Weights do for the muscle what cardio does for the heart. The stronger the muscle, the stronger the bone, which creates a strong joint. Think about the integrity of any structure. It is vital for the core to be secure to carry the load for which it was built. Lifting heavy builds that strong foundation for stability.

Lift Heavy

7. Work on range of motion or ROM. Mobility in the joint is essential. Maintaining a proper range of motion in the joints keeps them lubricated and moving. When joints become stiff, range of motion is lost, and quality of life is affected by limited mobility. Maintaining proper body alignment is necessary for maximum range of motion.

8. Strengthen your core. The core of the body is the torso. All of it, front and back, and both sides. Abs are only part of your core. We sit all the time, shortening the hip flexors and hunching the back. The back side is stretched out. “Undoing” that seated posture is vital for core strength and stability.

9. Know your limit. That means your limits in all areas daily. Take stock in what your body tells you. Feel ready, fuel in your tank? Hit it hard. Been a long day, do a recovery or stretch workout. Your body knows what it needs. You just need to listen to it.

10. Omega 3! The best omega 3 comes from krill oil. Krill are the plant life that fish eat to be rich in omega 3s. When you eat the fish, you are getting secondary omega 3s. Get it from the source, krill oil. Your body will absorb better from primary sources than secondary sources.

11. Keep bones strong with Calcium and Vitamin D. Together, these two will help build and maintain strong bones. Remember, strong bones make for strong ligament and tendon attachments to stabilize joint structure.

12. Target your posture. Your spine is not straight. It has curves to keep your body in its proper position. Sitting and standing with correct posture will keep your spine in proper alignment. Dowager’s hump is prevalent in women and costs quality of life. Keeping the spine in alignment is the smallest, most quality thing you can do to protect your joint structure.

Strong joints thru stretch
Stretch for strong joints

13. Watch the weight you carry on you. Everything adds weight purse, backpack, laptop etc. As I travel the globe, this is the ONE thing I need most. My backpack weighs over 30lbs. My luggage hovers a tad over 23 kg (50 lbs) and my “personal item” is approximately 20 lbs. It is very heavy and I have to take rest breaks to grab my breath. It’s a great workout, BUT posture takes a toll. Pay attention to the loads you carry. Constant stress on joints is not conducive to staying strong.

14. Chill your pain. Did you get hurt? Ice your pain with a cold pack or frozen vegetables. Cold reduces inflammation. Inflammation is the item that causes pain. Reduce it with ice and cold. The first 24 hours is best for chilling.

15. Supplement: Supplement means you add to what you are doing. But SAM-e and Glucosmine are great for keeping joints supple and moving. Feel free to talk with your doctor about adding these to your routine. Start with one. Use it for a few weeks before adding the other. Give yourself time to see if it’s working.

16. Last but not least: Give time to heal. Have you been hurt? Let it heal. Ligaments and tendons take longer to heal than muscle. They are not the same material and need a minimum of 6 weeks to heal. Don’t be afraid to give your body the rest it needs to heal and work properly.

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