Part of healthy aging is to start paying attention to joint health. As we get older, our joints are one of the places we are likely to feel soreness and pain. Sore joints usually are caused by inflammation from overuse or an injury or due to damage from free radicals in your body. Free radicals result from conditions such as stress, heavy exercise, overwork, poor nutrition, and environmental toxicity. Inflammation is the body’s response to foreign invaders, irritation or injury and causes redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. Sometimes the body attacks itself with inflammation even when there are no foreign substances. Certain types of arthritis are good examples of the body misinterpreting the need for its defensive action. These types of arthritis are called autoimmune diseases, in which the body’s normal immune system attacks and damages its own tissues.
Fortunately, if you are engaging in a campaign of healthy aging, there are natural solutions you can adopt now to support your joint health and avoid some of the future pain and discomfort of inflammation. Here are a few of the natural solutions you can get started with.
Listen to Your Mother – If you had one of those mothers always telling you to sit up straight, start taking that advice to heart. Sitting and standing straight actually does protect all your joints. Exercise that can help you achieve better posture are swimming and fast walking.
Get Up and Move – This natural solution is pretty easy. Just don’t stay in one position for too long a time. If you work at a desk, periodically get up and get your body moving. When sitting around reading or watching TV, change your position from time to time. Moving your body exercises your joints and means you’ll be less stiff. Start doing exercises that move your joints through their full range of motion to also reduce stiffness and increase flexibility.
Use Your Big Muscles – Doing muscle building exercises and increasing your muscle strength takes stress off the joints. When you carry things, use your bigger muscles to take stress off too. For example, if you can carry things with your arms instead of your hands then you are using the bigger arm muscles thus strengthening them and taking stress off the hand and wrist joints. You can also support your joints by strengthening muscle through weight bearing exercises. This can help prepare your muscles for whatever activities you’ll be doing that your muscles aren’t used to.
Lose Some Weight – Losing weight can help take stress off joints and protect cartilage. You can reduce 4 pounds of pressure off your knees for every pound of weight you drop. That is taking quite a bit of strain and pressure off those joints!
Stretch Your Body – Stretching your body and doing stretching type exercises can help keep joints flexible and strong. Start a regular routine of stretching at least 3 times a week. Stretching your body on a regular basis can improve the oxygenation in your body, relieve muscle tension and fatigue and increase your physical stamina. Doing just 15-20 minutes of light yoga or stretching in the morning regularly can help prepare your body for whatever physical activity you are planning. Many experts advise doing some warm-up exercises before stretching to help joints, muscles and ligaments loosen up first.
Eat More Fish – Coldwater fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna give you omega-3 fatty acids that help with joint health and reduce inflammation. If you are not that fond of fish, AFA bluegreen algae is also loaded with omega-3s.
Algae and Plant Based Enzymes Supplement – This supplement gives you a combination of plant-based proteolytic enzymes–bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, with AFA bluegreen algae, to support your body’s inflammatory response to physical exercise and free radical damage.
Algae and Glucosamine/Chondroitin Supplement – This supplement combines vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, UC-II® undenatured collagen, and AFA bluegreen algae to support joints and cartilage. Healthy joint cartilage contains glucosamine naturally. In combination with chondroitin, glucosamine has been reported in studies to give relief to joint pain.
SAMe Supplements – SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), is produced naturally by the body, but production decreases as we get older. There have been studies showing that supplementing with SAMe can work on joint pain much like anti-inflammatory drugs do.
Being proactive with your joint health and getting started now with some of these natural solutions will help you reduce the risks of pain and discomfort that joints attract in your elder years. No one wants to spend their retirement years riddled with aches and pains. Many people start financial planning for enjoying their retirement years, but can you really enjoy those years with pain and stiff joints? Add in a healthy aging plan to that retirement plan so you can really enjoy it!
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