Life can become very challenging when your joints start causing you pain. It can slow you down or even limit mobility. Joint pain can make doing the things you once loved feel unpleasant, and it can begin affecting your overall health negatively.
A question we are frequently asked is “How can I avoid or prolong joint pain?”. This is a fantastic question and it really brings things down to the basics. Some questions you can begin to ask yourself in return are:
- What are my current health habits?
- Am I eating out a lot?
- Am I balancing my nutrition?
- Am I making exercise a priority?
- Am I getting good sleep?
Health is much more than going to your yearly doctor checkup. Your future self begins with what you are doing now! If you want a healthy body and healthy joints, here are the absolute fundamental habits that are so often overlooked:
Healthy eating and hydration: This habit can be as in-depth or as simple as you want to make it. To break it down, your body needs certain macronutrients every day to function properly. When you feed your body large amounts of sugar, processed carbs, high saturated fats, and not enough proteins, you will likely gain weight and place the health of your joints in danger. Your joints won’t get the nutrients they need to stay healthy. That’s why what you eat and how much water you drink is so important! Your body needs a daily balanced portion of carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein to function properly. You can talk with a nutritionist to find out your portion balance and how much and how often you should be eating. You should also be drinking at least 64 oz of water a day.
Movement and exercise: Exercise has many benefits to your overall health. Even if you’re suffering from cancer, arthritis, or other immobilizing issues, one of the best things for you is daily movement. Some of the benefits of making exercise a habit include:
- Strengthening the muscles around your joints
- Reducing joint pain and stiffness
- Maintaining bone strength
- More energy to get through the day
- Better sleep
- Weight maintenance
- Improvement of balance
- Enhancing your quality of life
- Reducing feelings of anxiety and depression
- Combating cancer-related fatigue
- Lowering blood pressure and improving heart health
- Improving your memory and brain function (all age groups)
- Protection against many chronic diseases
Some of the best exercises for joint health are range-of-motion, strengthening, and aerobic exercises. Make sure that whatever motion you decide to do, keep it low impact, and don’t overdo it. Listen to your body to avoid further injuries.
Sleep: Doctors are learning that pain, sleep, and inflammation are inextricably linked. When you are on an irregular sleep schedule or are not getting the sleep you need, it takes a heavy toll on your body and mind.