Protecting The Joints
Regular exercise and healthy eating is an ideal way to stay in good shape, but we can often overlook the impact strenuous activity can have on our bodies. Our joints, in particular our knees, elbows and hips can be highly susceptible to wear during exercise as they are used heavily in most athletic, track and ball sports.
Cartilage, which forms the protective cushion between our joints can become worn through over use. Because of this, we should always consider our exercise practices to help preserve our joints. Some basic tips for helping your body include:
Always use the correct footwear – For runners in particular, knee problems can become a hindrance after extended periods of running. A good quality running shoe can prevent excessive force on knees and hips, and reduce overall damage.
Consider your surface – By exercising on hard ground, such as concrete you are amplifying the stress passed through to your joints. Try working out on a softer surface, such as grass or on a running track.
Consider your diet – Cartilage and joints, like most other parts of the body can be kept healthy by eating the right foods or nutritional supplements:
- Omega 3, a fatty acid found in Fish oil is known to improve some of the symptoms found in arthritis, and also improve blood circulation within the body. You can find Omega 3 naturally in fish like Salmon, Trout or Mackerel.
- Glucosamine, a major component found in joint cartilage is often taken as a dietary supplement to help with maintaining joints. Glucosamine is often taken in tablet form, as it is normally found within shellfish and some fungi.
Don’t over exert your body – Many athletes can cause long term damage to their bodies by over exerting themselves. Whether it is using too many free weights or even over stretching, we can prevent long term damage to our bodies by working up our tolerances slowly and allowing our bodies to adjust to the new routine.
So before your next exercise routine, take time consider ways in which you can help maintain the longevity of your joints. Your body will thank you for years to come.