Here at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute, your West Palm Beach specialists in sport medicine, we are happy to share these simple yet crucial tips on how to keep your joints strong, even if you are not a professional athlete.
1. Lose some pounds
Your size affects some of the strain on your hips, knees, and back. Even a little weight loss can help. Every pound you lose takes 4 pounds of pressure off the knees.
2. Stay active
It’s the golden rule of joint health: The more you move, the less stiffness you’ll have. Whether you’re reading, working, or watching TV, change positions often. Take breaks from your desk or your chair and get active.
3. Safety first
Wear proper protective gear when you do activities like in-line skating, hiking, skiing or playing contact sports. If your joints already ache, it might help to wear a brace on the affected area when you play tennis or lift weights. If you are an active jogger, make sure you include mobility exercises in your routine. This will help reduce the risk of additional trauma.
4. Strengthen your core
Stronger abs and back muscles help your balance. Better balance means you’re less likely to fall or get injured. Add core (abdominal, back, and hip) strengthening exercises to your routine. Pilates and yoga are especially great workouts to try.
5. Eat fish
Rich in fat, cold-water breeds like salmon and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep joints healthy. They also lower inflammation, which causes joint pain and tenderness in people with arthritis. Don’t like fish? Try fish oil capsules instead.
6. Keep your bones strong
Include calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Our sports medicine specialists in West Palm Beach say that your diet is as important as doing weight-bearing exercise for bone health. We all know that dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but dairy is not an option for everyone. Go green instead, and try leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale for your daily dose of calcium. If you don’t get enough of these minerals from food and the sun, ask your doctor about supplements.
7. Know your limits
It is normal to have some muscle pain after you exercise. But if you hurt for more than 48 hours, you may have overdone it. Don’t push so hard next time. Working through the pain can lead to an injury or damage.