5 Strategies to Help Promote Flexible and Healthy Joints

In Diet, Exercise, Fitnessby Jeremy Katz

  • Exercise. There’s a common urban legend that exercise is bad for your joints.Woman Stretching to promote Healthy JointMost people have little appreciation for how powerful exercise can be in supporting joint function. Vigorous low-impact exercise is beneficial – for your joints, as well as for cardiovascular, pulmonary, and other systems in your body.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..

    If typical vigorous exercise is not easy for you, try walking, tai chi and yoga… as they are very low impact, yet offer many health benefits.

  • Achieve your optimal weightto improve your bio-mechanic function.One of the outstanding benefits of exercise is its ability to help you achieve and maintain your ideal weight – which is highly beneficial to your joints.Overweight and obese people compromise joint comfort more than those who are carrying their ideal load. Each additional kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body mass increases the compressive load over your knee by roughly 4 kilograms (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.

    So you go full circle – losing weight reduces the load on your joints and makes it easier to exercise, and exercising helps you lose weight and supports your joint health.

  • 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.I believe you should limit your total fructose from ALL sources to no more than 25 grams per day, as it raises uric acid levels, which is hard on your joints. Now, chances are, you consume substantially more than 25 grams per day. Approximately ¼ of Americans consume a whopping 134 grams of fructose everyday!Within your 25 grams of fructose, you could consider including some tart cherries or concentrated tart cherry juice. They contain anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which help support a healthy immune response for your joints and whole body health.

    Also, in my opinion, you should base your food choices on your nutritional type to ensure you optimize your ideal macronutrient ratios.

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels.Vitamin D also supports a healthy immune response. Please recognize that during the fall, winter and early spring in most of the U.S., Canada, and Europe, your vitamin D levels can drop precipitously. If your levels fall, you give up the support this vitamin offers for your joints and your whole body.
  • Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from krill or high quality fish oil. Omega-3′s support your joint health.

Courtesy of  Dr Mercola.