- Taking care of your joints before an injury occurs ensures that your active lifestyle won’t be interrupted.
- You can protect your joints by wearing the right shoes, stretching daily, incorporating low-impact exercises, and taking joint-supporting supplements.
It’s no secret that being active is good for the body and soul, which healthy joints are vital for. But sometimes your body needs some extra TLC in order to keep it working optimally.
From the moment you step out of bed in the morning, your joints are working hard to support your busy lifestyle. You may not realize it, but certain activities can place excessive pressure on your joints and cause gradual wear-and-tear.
What exactly is a joint?
Put simply, joints are the meeting points between the bones in your body. Not every joint moves (like the ones between your skull bones) but without joints, we would hardly be able to move at all.
Not all joints are alike. Ball-and-socket joints like the one in your shoulder can move in many directions, while the hinge joints in your finger can only be bent or straightened. Your wrists can rotate almost freely, while your neck has limits to its movement thanks to the make-up of the joints within them.
What are joints made out of?
Joints are uniquely built for the part of the body that they support, but in general, they consist of strong connective tissues that keep the joint in place and attached to the bones: these are your tendons and ligaments.
Other components are there to reduce friction between bones while they move and when weight is placed on them. These include cartilage, which helps to provide shock absorption, fluid sacs called bursae, and the synovial membrane that helps to lubricate the area.
What can cause joint discomfort?
Everybody’s body (say that five times fast) is different, but joints see a huge amount of use every day.
Overuse can cause injury as well as tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendons that connect joints and muscle, or bursitis, inflammation of the bursae that most frequently occurs in places like hips and shoulders.
We can’t just stop moving to protect our joints, but there are a number of things we can add or change to our lives and routines to help protect the joints that keep us moving.
1. Wear the right shoes
Everything in the body is connected, which means exerting too much pressure on your feet or ankles can also affect the joints in your hips and knees. Choosing the right shoes for your active lifestyle can help protect your joints. If you enjoy running or jogging, investing in a pair of running shoes helps to avoid pain and injury. When choosing footwear, it is important to pay attention to the height of your arch, your strike pattern, and which activities you will be using them for. A knowledgeable running store will be able to analyze your gait, and help choose the right shoe for you.
2. Warm-up before your workout
No matter how relaxed or intense your exercise is, warming up before your workout has a variety of benefits. Your warm-up should involve active stretching and low-intensity movements, in order to increase blood flow and bring oxygen to your muscles. This also raises the temperature of your muscles, allowing more effective movements for your joints.1
3. Stretch daily to increase joint flexibility
The amount of tension in the muscles surrounding your joints is a key factor in determining the range of motion your joints can achieve. Bending and rotating your joints through a full range of motion to the best of your ability helps preserve and maintain the current range of motion.
4. Incorporate low-impact workouts
Low-impact exercises are those that do not place excessive pressure and stress on your joints. Low-impact activities, like swimming and yoga, are gentler on joints compared to high-intensity workouts. Golf and walking are other options depending on mobility levels.
Other low-impact exercises include rowing, cycling, or running on an elliptical machine.
Note: If you’re getting back into exercise after a break, don’t do too much too soon. Your joints aren’t used to it, and you may cause injury.
5. Eat joint-supporting foods
Your diet is a key factor of healthy joints. Eating right ensures joints get the nutrients they need to be strong, like calcium and Vitamin D.*
Over the years there have been several studies done that point toward certain fruits and vegetables as being beneficial to joints.* While you still need to check in with your doctor, adding these foods to your diet could be beneficial.
Fish: Salmon, trout, and other fish contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids.* Omega-3’s help to regulate the production of molecules that can affect joint health.*
Papaya: Papaya contains vitamin C, which plays an enzymatic role in collagen development, which contributes to joint health.* Other foods that contain high levels of vitamin C are spinach, citrus fruits, and red bell peppers.
Pomegranate: Pomegranates contain powerful antioxidants.
Shrimp: This glucosamine containing food can help support healthy joint mobility.*
6. Take supplements to support healthy joints
Incorporating supplements into your diet can help support healthy joints.* Let’s look at a few supplements that are your joints’ BFFs.
Solgar® Full Spectrum Curcumin
Curcumin, that active compound found in turmeric, helps support joint, brain, and immune health.* Curcumin tends to have poor bioavailability, which refers to its ability to be absorbed and utilized by your body. It doesn’t matter how much of a nutrient is delivered to your body – if it isn’t bioavailable, it simply won’t be absorbed.
This is why we created Solgar®’s Full Spectrum Curcumin to have 185x better bioavailability.◊ How do we do this? Unlike regular curcumin powder, Solgar® starts with 95% curcumin extract, the standardized active form, purified and concentrated from native turmeric root.
Then, we encapsulate the curcumin with microscopic, “water-loving” spheres called micelles. Micelles are so microscopically small that they allow curcumin to be readily passed into the bloodstream – in order to maximize effectiveness.
Solgar® No. 7
Your joints are often the first place you feel the effects of a tough workout or a long day on your feet. And even with a healthy diet and carefully modulated exercise routine, sometimes your joints need a little extra support.
Solgar® No. 7 shows improved joint health in as little as seven days.* We created Solgar® No. 7 as a way to improve flexibility, mobility, and range of motion for people with active lifestyles.*
It contains seven ingredients inspired by the combination of natural science and traditional botanical practices to target multiple aspects of joint health. For example, ingredients such as Ester-C® and Type 2 Collagen balance and temper joint enzymes that may break down cartilage and impact joints’ natural cushioning.* The end result is a product that balances out joint stresses, daily wear and tear, and the “overworking” of an active lifestyle.*
The bottom line
Taking proactive care of your joints before injury occurs is the best way you can ensure that your active lifestyle won’t be interrupted.
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The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Solgar® site.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
◊These statements are based on a human study of NovaSOL® curcumin in comparison with native curcumin extract, using an objective measure (metabolite anaylsis).