As you age, the body goes through several changes. Moving around can become more difficult as your muscles and joints begin to deteriorate and weaken over time. Joint pain and the subsequent troubles affiliated with joint pain is common for seniors, but there are things that can be done to help maintain healthy joints while you age.
Watch Your Weight
Did you know that for every pound you gain, there’s four times more stress placed on the knees? If you are overweight, think about how many pounds yo u may need to lose to get down to a healthy weight so unnecessary stress can be removed from your knees and other joints. Maintaining a healthy weight can be challenging, but there is no denying that excess weight puts a lot more strain on your body’s joints, particularly those in important supporting roles, like your knees, back and hips. If you are experiencing any pain in these joints, consider that your weight may be affecting these joints and then figure out a healthy plan for weight loss which may include a balanced diet and increasing your activity.
In addition to its weight loss benefits, being active and having a regular plan to get in physical activity is a great way to help maintain healthy joints. Think of your body like a machine that will get stiff and more difficult to move when not consistently put to use. When you regularly get exercise in, this is a great way to warm joints up, increase your blood flow and circulation throughout the body (and specifically to your muscles a nd joints), improve elasticity in the muscles and flexibility in the body, and to help build up your muscle known as atrophying). It’s important to note that being active does not necessarily mean you have to put 2-hour sessions in at the gym. Being active may be as simple as walking around the block or swimming some laps. If you have pain in your joints, you may wish to find ways to participate in low-impact exercises, such as water aerobics, yoga, or cycling.
Build Up Your Muscles
The health of your joints is highly dependent on the strength of the muscles and tendons that surround them. This is why when you stop being active and your muscles weaken, you end up putting a lot more strain on your joints to support your body’s weight and to function properly. Weight training can help strengthen and build the muscles around your joints and keep them healthy. It is important with any exercise routine that you consult your doctor. Also, you should consider working with a fitness trainer who can not only show you which strength training exercise are best for building stronger joints, but can also demonstrate for you how to properly do these exercises and prevent injury.
Protect Your Joints
A common cause of joint pain comes from not properly protecting them (as well as the improper use of them) throughout your life. This can cause a lot of strain and even injury for some of your joints. In any activities that may require a great deal of kneeling or getting down on your knees, it is helpful to wear knee pads and to protect your knees from the wear and tear that may come from that activity. Another common injury is the lower back due to improper bending and lifting of heavy objects. You should be bending at the knee and using your leg muscles to help support your body and lift the object off the ground. All too often, people bend at the waist and use the lower back to lift up the heavy weight. Another cause of back pain is improper posture and slouching. Check your posture right now. If you are slumped over and your shoulders are going forward, straighten your back and pull your shoulders back. By better protecting your joints, you will help to maintain healthy functionality into and throughout your senior years.
There is absolutely no reason you should wait to begin taking care of your body until you begin experiencing pain or complications in your joints. Even if you are not a senior yet, starting healthy practices for joint care right now is one of the best ways to ensure healthy joints down the line. Not only will this help to preserve your joints as you age, but you will develop healthy habits now that will improve your overall health.
If you are a senior located in Los Angeles, San Bernardino or Orange County and are in need of assistance at home, contact the compassionate and certified caregivers of Options In-Home Care today. The caregivers of Options In-Home Care can assist you with building healthy habits to build and maintain healthy joints.