As we age, it’s natural for our joints and bones to deteriorate and lose strength. Whilst this is a common problem for many, there are things that can be done to keep bones and joints strong and fight off bone thinning diseases like osteoporosis.
We’ve outlined a few top tips to keep you fighting fit.
Exercise is key for keeping joints, bones and supporting muscles strong to avoid breaks and fractures. Exercising doesn’t have to be too strenuous and, in fact, activities that don’t involve a lot of impact are best. Moderate intensity activities, that get you warmer, make you breathe harder and get your heart pumping are the best activities for joints. These could include a round of golf, a walk or a light exercise.
Even if you don’t lead an active lifestyle, it’s important to keep moving throughout the day. If you sit at a desk, make sure you take regular breaks and change position a lot to keep your body moving and to prevent aches and pains in specific areas, such as the neck, shoulders and lower back.
There’s a reason Omega 3s are considered a super-nutrient. Omega 3 fatty acids, found in oily fish and some nuts and seeds, are powerful anti-inflammatories, helping to relieve arthritis-like symptoms, and also play a role in bone formation. Omega 3s are great for improving bone density and are considered especially useful for hip health.
Extra body weight can create strain on our joints, especially the knees. Losing just a little body weight can help to relieve strain, aches and tension, and also helps to improve circulation, breathing and general wellbeing.
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that helps the body absorb essential bone-loving nutrients and minerals like calcium and phosphate. The best source of vitamin D is the sunshine, but this can be tricky to get all year round and when we’re wearing sun cream. Supplements usually do the job just as well.
Proper shoes can play a big role in joint and bone health, from our backs to our feet. It’s a good idea to try and vary heel height slightly and make sure all shoes fit properly, with some sort of arch support.
Smoking can cause bones to lose density, and puts you at a higher risk of fractures and breaks. This is due to smoking preventing calcium absorption into the blood, causing the body to replenish minerals in the blood directly from the bones. Smoking also affects hormones like oestrogen and testosterone which are essential in supporting and maintaining bone health.
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