Human joints are connections between two bones made of smooth connective tissue called cartilage. The joints have the role of cushioning the bones and allowing movement without friction. There are different kinds of joints in the human body – some are mobile, while others are rigid. The movable joints are in the hips, shoulders and knees, while the rigid ones are those between the bones.
The joints help us move, turn, bend, stand and lie down, and of course, walk, jump and run. Keeping them safe from injuries and healthy is of vital importance, but we rarely pay great attention to our joints. In fact, they’re one of the most neglected body parts until they start hurting.
Taking care of the joints should start in childhood. Keep them, the muscles and the bones safe, and you’ll have no movement problems in the future. This can be done with appropriate exercises and a healthy lifestyle. Here are 4 tips that will keep your joints healthy:
If you’re a smoker, you’re surely aware of the negative effects of the habit on our health. Cigarettes are full of very harmful ingredients which can harm the calcium absorption in the body and harm our bones and joints. Smokers have a higher risk of low bone density and bone fractures, which is why you should stop now. According to a 2007 study, smoking can significantly raise the risk of cartilage loss and weaken your muscles, so maybe it’s time to get help and quit smoking.
Stop drinking sodas
Sodas are rich in sugar and other harmful ingredients which can reduce the mineral density in your bones and raise the risk of fractures. In fact, sodas can raise the level of phosphates in your blood which can cause reduced calcium absorption. This will lead to weaker joints and bones and increase the risk of damage. The sugar in soda drinks can also make you heavier, which will put too much pressure on your joints and bones and harm them further.
Maintain your weight
While we’re on the subject of weight, you must keep it maintained in order to reduce the pressure on your joints and bones and keep them healthy. The heavier you are, the higher the risk of joint problems and pain. Of course, when trying to lose weight, you need to do so in a healthy and gradual manner. Sudden loss of weight may cause additional joint problems, so make sure to do it properly. One 2012 study has shown that reduction of weight can decrease the mechanical and biochemical stress in the joints, so if you’re joints hurt, maybe it’s time to lose weight.
There are many exercises which can strengthen your joints and improve their flexibility, which will reduce the pain. Plus, regular exercise will also reduce your weight, which will lead to fewer joint problems. Consult your therapist about the best exercises for your case, but make sure to include some weight lifting. In this way, your joints will be stronger and less susceptible to damage.
Of course, before exercising, it’s highly important to warm up. This will essentially prepare your joints for the strenuous exercise and help them relax. Exercising right after you get to the gym may stiffen your muscles and joints and raise the risk of injuries.
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