How to Protect Your Joints During Exercise?

Protect Your Joints During Exercise
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

As you age, you may notice that your joints don’t work as perfectly as they used to when you were younger. But these problems can also arise in young age. There can be many causes of having joint pains in young age. More than 50 million Americans have below optimal joint health. These joint pains can be due to falls, improper training techniques, overuse or even sudden changes in direction.

Choose Your Activity Level Carefully

Your daily activity level can determine the type of joint disease that you suffer from. Different kinds of sports and exercise techniques place stress on different joints. High impact sports in particular can place massive stress on joints. For instance tennis elbow gets its name from the fact that it is common in tennis players. Similarly, runner’s knee also gets its name from the occupation related injury. Weight lifters suffer from poor shoulder joint health. But you don’t need to wait for aging joints to start thinking about joint protection.

Both professional athletes and those who do sports for fun should be aware of the risks associated with exercising. There are many things that you should consider before you start exercising. You should be aware of using the right equipment to help support the joints that are prone to exercise induced injury. Furthermore you should consider taking supplements. These supplements help replenish your energy level. This will increase* your motivation and even help enhance* the focus and intensity of your exercise regime.

Protect Your Joint Before Exercise

Before you start your daily workout, you should take some measures to reduce* the risk of pain, injury and enhance* the activity level. You can try the following tips:

  • Take a Healthy Diet: You are what you eat. And the most important rule with any type of exercise is to maintain a healthy diet. Supplement your diet with anti-inflammatory food items containing omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown them to be very effective at reducing* joint inflammation. Moreover carbohydrates in your diet can help in swift muscle recovery and offer essential fuel for the body during exercise.
  • Don’t Forget to Stretch and Warm Up: Before straining your body with a heavy workout routine, it is very important to warm up your muscles. This reduces* the risk of stress induced injury to the muscles caused by exercise. Stretching increases* the blood circulation to the muscles which makes them more flexible and less likely to tear. So don’t forget to stretch before and after your daily exercise routine.
  • Benefit From Additional Supplementation: Joint supplements can work wonders to enhance* joint health. They are extremely popular with athletes and fitness fans around the world. They contain certain micronutrients and macronutrients which increase* the exercise intensity and efficiency and protect the joints from damage. Some important joint supplements include Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Calcium & Vitamin C, MSM and hyaluronic acid. A combination of glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium and Vitamin C is the most well-known joint supplement. It improves* joint health and provides stability to the joints. MSM is famous among athletes for its role in effective short term muscle relief following exercise by reducing* joint inflammation. It also important in enhancing* sports performance. Hyaluronic acid is the constituent of most of the connective tissue in our body including those of the joints. It holds joints together and provides strength and stability. It acts as a lubricant between moving surfaces acting as a shock absorber to avoid friction induced injury.

Protect Joints During Exercise

Here are a handful number of tips that can help protect your joints during exercise:

  • Wear The Correct Foot Wear: There is a shoe for each type of workout that you intend to do. Your feet support your entire body weight so it is most important to wear the right shoes. For example running shoes provide more cushioning while basketball shoes provide ankle support.
  • Gradually Build an Exercise Regime: It is important that you allow your body to reach its peak slowly rather than imposing extra stress on the muscles and joints. It is important that you start with exercises of low impact like swimming or cycling before you start the heavy duty regime. At the end of an exercise, always remember to rest and allow your body to cool down.
  • Switch Up The Workout: You may be used to following the same workout regime daily. But doing this over a prolonged period of time may wear down certain joints or muscles more than others. This can lead to unnecessary injury. So switch the routine to ensure that your effective workout is in fact providing optimal joint health.
  • Maintain Proper Posture: It is important that while doing exercises you are following the right technique even if it is something as simple as cycling around the block. By not using the correct posture or not using the right equipment, you may be doing more harm than good by putting unnecessary stress on your joints. Correct posture would include using a technique that can align the joints properly.

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Expert Author : Beth Solomon (Consumer Health Digest)

Beth Solomon has been writing articles on health for more than two years with a concentration on pain management and men’s and women’s health and fitness. She has been a contributing editor to Consumer Health Digest since 2013.