6 tips for stronger bones and joints
Strong bones and joints are crucial components to maintaining neck and back health. If your bones and joints weaken, your odds for developing neck or back pain increases exponentially.
Check out these six tips to keep your bones and joints moving and in tip-top shape:
Watch your weight. Perhaps the single best thing you can do for your joints is to ensure that you are at a healthy weight. If you are overweight, you are increasing the pressure put on your bones and joints. This is particularly true for weight-bearing joints such as your hips, knees and back. Studies have shown that for every pound gained, four times more stress is placed on the knees.
Keep moving. The average person spends about 9.3 hours sitting per day; add in the time we spend sleeping, and we’re totaling 17 hours of inactivity per day. Lack of movement during the day puts you at a great risk for developing joint pain as you age. Find ways to move throughout the day. Consider taking more breaks to walk around or even take your phone calls while standing. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel after a few days of activity.
Eat well. Eating well is important to maintaining healthy bones and joints. Make sure that you are eating a balanced diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Consider increasing your vitamin C and antioxidant intake as well. Studies have shown that both may help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
Build muscle. In order to keep your bones and joints healthy, you need to build muscle. Yoga and Pilates are both excellent forms of exercise to engage and strengthen your core muscles. Keeping your core muscles strong will help reduce the amount of pressure placed on your spine.
Check your posture. When it comes to bone and joint health, your posture plays a key role. Slouching while sitting or standing puts undo pressure on your joints. Make sure you are engaging in proper posture as you sit and stand throughout the day. Studies have shown that proper posture when sitting or standing can help protect the joints from your neck to your knees. So take a minute to realign your body.
Know your limits. Most importantly, become familiar with your body. This is essential to knowing when you have pushed your bones and joints to the max. Treating your joints well will go a long way in preserving your bone, joint and spine health as you age.