One of the biggest health challenges facing seniors today is keeping bones and joints healthy and strong. Unfortunately, as we get older the cartilage that cushions our joints wears down, eventually leading to inflammation and pain. “However, there are a few things you can do to help relieve this pain and protect your joints from wear-and-tear. This is awkward here. Since it’s in the last paragraph can we delete it here?)
- Get off the couch: Exercise builds strong muscle tissue that helps provide protection for your joints. A good exercise routine includes walking or swimming, lifting light weights, gentle stretching and movement to strengthen balance. These help ensure you maintain a healthy weight, build bone and muscle tissue, improve range of motion and help prevents falls. However, in order to make sure that you are exercising safely and within your health guidelines be sure to consult a specialist before you start your fitness journey.
- Eat well: A healthy diet contains the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to keep muscles and joints in good repair. Foods like almonds, avocados and oily fish (like tuna, salmon and sardines) are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation and keep nerve tissue healthy, while protein helps the body build muscle tissue. In addition, be sure to include vitamin D and calcium for their bone-strengthening properties.
- Lose excess weight: If you are above the healthy weight range recommended by medical practitioners, it’s a good idea to start a healthy weight loss regime to take the extra pressure off your joints. This will include diet and exercise appropriate to your current requirements.
- Get creative: If traditional exercise doesn’t sound appealing to you, then think outside the box! Gardening is a great way to give your body the exercise it needs, as are nature walks and dance lessons. Joining a few classes or clubs is also a great way to meet new friends and make getting fit a fun, as well as healthy, experience.
- Get the right shoes: There are lots of great looking shoes out there but many don’t actually provide the orthopedic support your feet and joints require. Look for exercise and casual shoes that have good grip and properly support your feet and ankles, as these will help keep your joints healthy and prevent joint pain.
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Content was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/blog/seniors-guide-keeping-joints-healthy/