When you reach a certain age, the aches and pains will begin, especially in the joints.
While it may not be possible to prevent ageing, there are certain do's and don'ts that you can adhere to so that the pain in the joints will be minimal.
1. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day as it helps to strengthen the muscles that protect our joints.
It does not have to be a workout, but it can include chores such as gardening, washing the car or even an evening stroll around your neighbourhood.
If you are already suffering from joint pains, you can try low-impact activities, such as biking or swimming, that are gentle on the joints but still help burn calories.
2. Protect your joints from injuries. Remember to warm up before exercising and cool down after your workout.
This precaution is not restricted to sports or exercise alone. Even physical activities such as lifting a box should be done properly. For example, when lifting, be sure to carry the box as closely to your body as possible. Also, use your arms instead of just your hands to support the weight.
3. Respect your body's fitness level. If you work out in the gym, do not feel pressured to keep up with the people around you as everyone has different levels of stamina.
Always remember that what is tolerable for someone else might not be tolerable for you.
4. Try and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight will put unnecessary stress on your joints as every 2.2kg gained puts as much as 4 times the stress on your knees.
Even minimal weight loss can do wonders to ease the pressure and your joints will thank you for it.
5. Supplement your diet with essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as Omega-3 which can be found in cod liver oil. When taken in high concentrations, cod liver oil has been scientifically proven to reduce inflammation and help slow down the progression of cartilage destruction.
As EFAs are not produced by the body, the only way we can get it is from eating EFA-rich foods or, more conveniently, from supplements.
1. Do not ignore muscular aches and pains. If your body aches after a workout, you might be working out the wrong way.
Consult exercise instructors or follow home exercise videos which will be able to lead you in a proper workout. If you are a gym member, try to book a session with a trainer who can then tell you where you might be going wrong.
2. Always make sure to seek medical attention if you have a muscular ache that will not go away as it may be a sign that your joints are injured.
Humans generally have a tendency to develop a tolerance to pain that we experience every day. The same can be said for joint pain. Bear in mind though, that any lingering pain could be a symptom of something more serious, so take note of it and seek treatment.
3. Do not forget to always eat balanced meals and try and cut down on fatty foods. If you need energy to keep you going throughout the day, stock up on more fibre-rich foods like whole-meal bread, cereals and nuts.
4. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. This is because by the time we get thirsty, we are already mildly dehydrated. Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, especially before and after exercising.
75% of our muscles and 22% of our bones consist of water. Water also helps in cushioning joints. Drink up as water loss can be detrimental to joints, robbing them of their ability to lubricate. Staying well hydrated is the simplest way to minimise unnecessary joint pain.
5. Do not forget to treat your muscles and joints from time to time by going for a good body massage. The benefits are known to include decreased pain and increased circulation, energy and flexibility. A warm bath can also relieve muscle tension and ease aching joints.
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