Though often ignored or overlooked, your body joints are as essential as your heart or eyes. They not only help in flexible movements but also support your body’s structure, protect the organs and produce red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets from bone marrow.
As your body ages your joints can become weak and lose their flexibility. Friction between two bones increases at the joints and makes it difficult for people to move without pain. Decreasing bone density and loss of minerals can also cause the joints to become inflexible. By following some basic healthcare tips you can easily turn around the situation and prepare your joints for combating old age.
Make calcium a part of your diet
Calcium is that one mineral which is essential for keeping our bones strong and healthy. The best source of calcium is milk. Drink warm milk with a little bit of cocoa powder everyday or have milk and cereals for breakfast but keep it in your diet. You can also consume other dairy products like cheese, cottage cheese and butter for getting the right amount of calcium required for your bone health.
People who are lactose intolerant and cannot have dairy products should eat more leafy vegetables, sardines, soy milk, tofu and fortified products for getting the calcium they need. Talk to your physician and ask them to prescribe a good calcium supplement. Calcium supplements should only be taken if you are unable to get calcium from daily diet.
Bask under the sun
Working under the sun is another great way of strengthening your bones. When your body skin is exposed under the sunlight it starts producing Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium in our body.
So, indirectly sun rays help in making your bones stronger. Stay under the sun for 10 minutes or a little more for getting sufficient sunlight for producing Vitamin D. You should also consume foods which are rich sources of Vitamin D such as eggs, salmons, mackerel and tuna. Cod liver oil capsules also offer Vitamin D.
Avoid inflammatory foods
Standard American Diet or SAD is full of inflammatory foods. These foods can produce arachidonic acid which gets stored in the body joints. This acid can cause bone erosion and weaken the joints over a period of time.
Stop eating inflammatory foods which can lead to joint corrosion. Lean and organic meat and fish are good sources of nutrients which can help in keeping your bones healthier.
Reduce alcohol consumption
Excessive consumption of alcohol can disrupt the production of hormones and vitamins which help in the absorption of calcium in your body. Doctors suggest that women stick to 7 drinks a week or just one per day and men should not have more than 10 drinks a week and 2 per day. Alcoholism can lead to accidents which in turn can damage the joints and impair your movements.
Exercise and maintain normal weight
Your appropriate weight depends on your height and bone structure. Consult your physician to determine what your right weight is. Exercise everyday for at least 15 to 20 minutes for keeping your weight in control. Along with cardio exercises for burning calories, you should also practice stretching for keeping your joints active and flexible. Swimming, cycling, brisk walking and jogging are good exercises for keeping fit. Urban dwellers are also trying zumba dance form for reducing weight.
For the good health of your joints you need to maintain a normal weight and eat balanced meals. Drink milk or eat food that offers calcium daily. Avoid inflammatory foods and do stretching exercises for healthier limbs.