Healthy Habits That Support Your Joints

Healthy Habits That Support Your Joints

Most people have experienced joint pain at some point, either from an injury, overuse, or a medical condition. Joint pain can develop anywhere in the body, but it’s especially common in the spine, hands, knees, hips, and feet. It also becomes increasingly common with age.

But that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. Instead, taking the right steps now can help keep your joints strong and healthy at every age.

Thomas F. Saylor, MD, treats joint conditions at Orthopaedic Care Specialists in North Palm Beach, Florida. He often reminds people that protecting their joints and bones is actually easier than they might think.

If you want to support your joints, try adopting these healthy habits today.

1. Don’t stop moving

Many people often stop moving the minute something hurts or when they start aging. This usually occurs because they fear the pain will worsen or that they’ll hurt themselves. In reality, physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your body, especially your joints.

Regular exercise can not only ease joint stiffness and pain, but it can also strengthen the muscles supporting your joints. Plus, physical activity plays an essential role in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

For the best results, include weight-bearing activities, such as walking and jogging, as well as strength training and stretching exercises in your regimen.

2. Lose weight

Next to physical activity, maintaining an ideal weight is crucial for your joint health. That’s because even being a few pounds overweight can increase strain on the body, especially weight-bearing joints, such as your knees and hips.

Believe it or not, losing a single pound can reduce a whopping 4 pounds of stress on the knees. So, even modest weight loss can provide results regarding your joint health.

3. Watch your diet

When it comes to diet, the good news is that eating for your joints also benefits your overall health. That means avoiding foods that increase inflammation in the body and focusing on nutrient-dense, whole food options instead.

In most cases, you can keep inflammation at bay by following a Mediterranean diet, which is naturally low in sodium and saturated fat. However, it’s also high in fiber and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Best of all, it’s also delicious and easy to adopt.

To start, simply focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, and limit high-fat meats, especially red meats. On top of being good for you, vegetables are also the best source of vitamin C, which triggers bone-forming cell production, and some vegetables even help with bone mineralization.

Dr. Saylor could also recommend taking a vitamin D supplement, a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium, which are two specific vitamins required for bone and joint health. 

4. Ditch your bad habits

If you smoke, you probably know how it affects your lungs. However, it can also impact your bone and joint health, which can increase your chances of developing any of the following conditions:

Similarly, you should also be careful about how much alcohol you consume. Women should avoid drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day, and men should limit their intake to no more than two.

5. Talk with your doctor

Finally, it’s crucial to talk with your doctor about your joints. They know you best and can offer personalized insight and guidance into healthy habits you can adopt now to improve and maintain your joint health. They can also identify medical conditions, hormone imbalances, or medications that could be putting your joint health at risk.

Do you have joint pain? Dr. Saylor can get to the bottom of what’s causing it and help you get well. To learn more, call 561-292-0148 or book an appointment online with Orthopaedic Care Specialists today.

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