How to Keep Your Joints Healthy and Strong?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

Joints are the connection points between two bones. Joints allow you to be able to bend your knees, elbow, and turn your head and several other movements in the body. A smooth tissue called cartilage, synovial fluid and synovium found in the joint ensures there is smooth movement in the joints. If the joints are not taken care of they end up not functioning properly. Several factors have been cited to cause wear and tear of the cartilage. Some of these factors include:

  • Injury
  • Age

You should always ensure your joints are healthy and strong by observing the following measures:

1. Watch Your Weight

You should ensure you keep your weight within a healthy range so as to avoid stressing your joints. Being overweight put a lot of pressure to the joints which can result to overworking them which can further lead to injuries.

You can maintain or reduce* your body weight by exercising your body. Some of the exercises that you can do include:

  • Aerobic Exercises: Aerobic exercises help in reducing* joint swelling.
  • Low Impact Exercises: These exercises include bicycling and swimming.

Taking a walk or jogging everyday can also be helpful in ensuring* that the joints don’t become stiff.

2. Know Your Limits. Don’t Over Exercise

Some exercises can be tough for your joints to handle. You should always ensure you start with simple exercises so as to make your joints adapt to the tasks.

You can get advice from a physical therapist on which exercises are good for you but you can also listen to your body when doing the exercises so that you can know which exercises are good for you.

3. Build Your Muscles

Building your muscles will help in supporting your joints. Less muscles result to pressure on the joints especially the knee which supports the entire body. Weight lifting can be a good exercise for building and keeping your muscles strong. Before commencement of any weight lifting exercise, ensure you get an advice from a fitness trainer so as to avoid straining your joints when trying to strengthen them.

4. Always Ensure You are in Good Posture

Good posture protects your joints from injuries. You should avoid slouching as it is not good for your joints.

You should also ensure good posture when performing tasks for example, when lifting and carrying a load, ensure you use the biggest muscle in your body by bending at your knees and avoiding bending your back.

5. Eat a Balanced Diet

A healthy balanced diet is good for healthy joints. It helps in making the bones and joints to be strong and healthy. Healthy and strong bones and joints will prevent you from easily falling down which can result to fractures. Foods that are rich in Calcium are good for the bones and joints. Such food include leafy green vegetables such as kales, spinach and cabbage, milk, yogurt, salmon and figs. Calcium supplements can also be used incase you don’t get enough Calcium from your diet. Vitamin D ensures that Calcium is absorbed from your diet.

Vitamin D can also be formed in your body when you are exposed to direct sunlight.
Omegas 3s are also good for healthy joints. Omega 5 fatty acids help in reducing* joint pain and swelling especially in people who suffer from arthritis.

Foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon and mackerel. Omega 3 can also be in form of supplements such as fish oil

6. Use of Ice

Ice is commonly used to relieve pain and swelling. Applying a cold pack on a powerful area can help in reducing* the pain temporarily. You should avoid applying the ice directly to the skin.

7. Protecting Your Joints

You can protect your joints by wearing knee pads, helmets, elbow and wrist pads when involved in activities that put you at risk of falling down.

Preventing injuries can put you out of risk of diseases such as arthritis.