For every extra pound you’re carrying around, you are putting four times the stress on your knees. The flipside of the coin is that losing even a little weight will help your knees immensely. Here are some tips for easy joint exercises and healthy eating to start your new year off with a healthy bang.
Healthy eating for your joints
Boost your calcium intake and keep your bones strong. If you don’t like milk, there are plenty of other options such as yogurt, kale, figs, broccoli, salmon and calcium supplements.
Salmon is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and pain in your joints.
Keep pre-cut fruits and veggies in the front of your refrigerator so you’ll reach for them when you want a snack.
Instead of eating two or three full meals a day, try breaking it up into smaller meals more frequently to keep your metabolism up and hunger down.
Choose fruits and veggies in a variety of colors to get the greatest amount of nutrients possible in your diet.
Take a multivitamin to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet you may have.
Tips for easy joint exercise
Visit the great outdoors. There are many opportunities for burning extra calories while having fun and being productive, such as gardening and other yard work.
Be sure to stretch frequently. You can do this while sitting in a chair, so you don’t have to worry about being steady on your feet. Start stretching from your head to your toes and think about every joint and muscle while working your way down your body.
Take advantage of the local pools. From aerobics to jogging, aquatic exercise allows you to take a load off your joints while still being active.
No matter what exercise you are doing, be sure to warm up first. Your muscles and joints need a few minutes of prep time before you get into your full workout.
Keep a journal of your workouts and how your joints feel afterward. If they are still sore a few hours after you’re done, make sure to do a less strenuous version of your routine next time.
Try a gentle exercise such as yoga or Pilates that keep your joints and muscles limber while easing stress.
Using some small free weights can help build strength and boost your metabolism. Building muscle mass helps to stabilize your joints.
Biking outdoors or using an exercise bike is another great option for a low impact exercise routine.
Information gathered from ArthritisToday.com. Written by Kelsey Klaver, Marketing Director for Crestview Nursing and Rehabilitation, 2401 Des Moines St., Webster City. For more information, call (515) 832-2727.