Thursday, June 9, 2011

Strategies to help promote flexible and healthy joints

The first thing everyone things of when it comes to joint health is glucosamine and chondroitin. Those two molecules make up the type of cartilage found within joints. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint. Inside your joints, cartilage undergoes a constant process of breakdown and repair. However, to be properly repaired, the building blocks of cartilage must be present and available. The theory behind using the glucosamine and chondroitin joint supplements is that more of the cartilage building blocks will be available for cartilage repair. (more on this subject at a later date)

While both of those products are fantastic to help support your joints , there are other strategies that one can use to prevent or diminish the risk of joints issues. Here are 6 of them:

1. Exercise. There's a common urban legend that exercise is bad for your joints. It's simply a myth that you can 'wear down' your knees just from average levels of exercise – and/or normal activity. In fact, inactivity causes your muscles to become weaker and actually works against optimal joint flexibility and comfort.

One caution, however when using this valuable tool, you need to start slowly if you have not been exercising regularly, and build up to higher activity levels otherwise you risk incurring an injury that could cause really set you back..

2. Achieve your optimal weight to improve your bio-mechanic function. Overweight and obese people compromise joint comfort more than those who are carrying their ideal load. Each additional 2 pounds of body mass increases the compressive load over your knee by nearly 9 pounds.

Research shows that a weight loss of as little as 11 pounds can have a positive effect on joint function. And those who are at their optimal weight experience increased joint health as compared to those who are obese or overweight.

3. Eat a higher quality diet. Eliminate sugar and starchy carbs from your diet. And definitely stop drinking soda. These foods do absolutely nothing to support healthy joints or a healthy body. In fact, their potential for damage is well documented.

4. Optimize your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D also supports a healthy immune response.

5. Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids

6. Minimize the mental and emotional stress in your life. I know, easier said than done. But this step is great for your health in general and for your joint health as well. If you experience an overabundance of stress, make sure you practice relaxation techniques, do some yoga, take a break. And most importantly, don’t forget to laugh!!!!

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