Having endured three lockdowns now many of us trying to different ways for staying active whilst gyms, sports centres, etc are all closed. Many of us are doing a Joe Wicks style home workout to get their sweat on whilst others are going the old fashioned route with an outdoors run.Whether we are going on a long walk or working the rowing machine at home it is so important to make sure our bones and joints are also in good shape!
It’s normal for many of us to not even give our joints a thought until it’s too late and we’re aching and in pain – I’ve been a victim of this myself many times!
Having cartilage protecting the joints with a fluid cushioning is how healthy joint should be. On average, women have more mobility in their bones and joints, because they are moving around more they are more likely to cause wear and tear.
Here are some of the causes that may cause our joints to ache:
- Being Overweight – The pressure in the knee joints when moving is around five times your body weight, this means even a few added pounds could have an effect. On top of this body fat also increases inflammation which will cause more pain and swelling.
- Over – Sitting – Yes this is a thing! It is important to keep the joints moving to keep them working as they should. Doing this regularly also strengthens muscles and ligaments around your joints. Being sat down or inactive too long can result in stiffness and cause the soft tissue to decline.
- Menopause – Oestrogen is key to keeping the ligaments that stabilise joints flexible. As oestrogen levels fall, joints become weaker and stiffer. The low oestrogen levels will In turn cause aches and pain.
- Stress – You may be thinking, what has stress got to do with my joints? Well, our stress and pain levels affect how we all deal with pain. Studies have shown increased stress levels can actually make the pain worse.
If you find your joints and bones are aching or are in pain then we have some ways to build healthier joints for you too:
- Maintain a Healthy Weight – Shedding ten pounds can take 50 pounds of pressure of your knees. Having a healthy weight means less pain, less inflammation, less pressure on joints and cartilage preservation.
- Have a Healthy Diet – This is a key factor in health and wellness in general. Eating fruit and veg can prevent inflammation. Eating lean proteins is important to support the strong muscles.
- Sun or Supplements – Vitamins D and K are necessary for good bone health. If you cant get enough through the sun, make sure to supplement them to support your bone health in the best way.
- Keep Active!!
Exercise can feel like that thing we would want to do when our joints are aching. However, by staying active we can reduce pain, reduce stiffness as well as strengthening the muscles that support our joints.
It’s good and important to get around 30 minutes of exercise per day across five days. The following exercises are best for the maintenance our joint health:
- Walking – This can bring so many different benefits. It aids losing or maintaining body weight and also gets all major muscle groups in motion. The great thing about walking is it costs nothing but time and requires no extra equipment.
- Yoga – Yoga is brilliant as it also helps stress relief and is great for relaxation purposes. Yoga will help keep joints mobile.
- Swimming – To burn calories and sooth muscles swimming is the perfect exercise. It is also great for improving joint pain and stiffness. Swimming can improve mood as well as helping with sleep, it is great for both mental and physical benefits.
- Strength Training – It’s important to not over do it and go heavy with the weights. Going slow and steady is the best way. Strength training will help support and protect our joints.
Mental health is as important as physical health. Yes, it even applies to our bones and joints!