October is a good month to start improving your health; the 12th-20th is Bone and Joint Health National Action Week. Maintaining bone and joint health as you age is not just about drinking milk and doing some stretches — it takes commitment and good lifestyle choices. To get you started, here are six tips to promote limber joints and strong bones.
Take Fish Oil
This tip is a no-brainer and relatively easy. Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids that lower inflammation and keep joints healthy. You can also add more fish to your diet, like salmon and tuna.
Eat Healthy Greens
Your bones are at their strongest when your body gets plenty of Calcium and Vitamin D. Of course, dairy products are a good choice, but can add too much fat to your diet. Consider eating dark, leafy greens like broccoli or kale to get your daily dose bone-strengthening vitamins.
Shed Those Extra Pounds
Excess weight is hard on your joints. According to Harvard Health when you walk across level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1 1/2 times your bodyweight. That means a 200-pound man will put 300 pounds of pressure on his knees with each step. Backs and hips can also suffer from carrying more weight.
Stretch AFTER You Exercise
While stretching is beneficial anytime, it is most effective after your muscles have had time to warm up, such as after a 10-minute walk. Stretching daily will greatly improve your flexibility and joint health.
Lift Weights At The Gym
Any added strength to your body, especially to your core muscles, will aid in maintaining bone and joint health. Find a certified personal trainer to guide you to the best exercises and avoid injury from incorrectly doing weight lifting exercises.
Improve Your Posture
Sitting up straight takes pressure off your hips and lower back, allowing your body to work optimally. Also, using the correct posture to lift heavy objects will help protect your joints.
With these six tips in practice, your body will feel better than ever! Maintaining bone and joint health is easier than you think. Make an extra effort this month to strengthen your bones and protect your joints.