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Joint Health - A Guide to Maintaining Strong and Flexible Joints

Updated on September 23, 2013

A healthy and strong skeletal system with flexible joints is a vital ingredient in achieving an active and fulfilling life. Joints serve as connections between bones and allow you to perform such activities as walking, standing, bending, wiggling, turning, and waving. Maintaining proper joint health is an important key to staying active later in life and is becoming a top priority for many aging Americans.

As we get older, we get more susceptible to degenerative joint conditions such as Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Here are some suggestions for maintaining healthy joints that incorporate both traditional methods such as diet and exercise as well as alternative ideas that focus on antioxidants and supplements.

5 Tips for Healthy Joints

Below you will find some helpful tips you can use to help build and maintain healthy and strong bone joints:

1. Maintain a healthy weight: Watching your weight is one of the best things you can do to preserve your joints. Keeping your weight at the recommended level will aid in preventing small tears that break down cartilage.

This also relieves your body of any excess pressure put on your joints by carrying around more weight than the body should have to. Start by consulting your physician or a nutritional consultant to find out what your ideal weight is and develop a safe and healthy plan to reach your goal.

2. Exercise: Working out helps to reduce stiffness in the joints. According to many experts, a successful exercise regimens include both low impact aerobic exercises mixed with strength training. If you are looking for some specific suggestions, Harvard Medical School offers an excellent special report containing a complete joint pain relief workout with specific healing exercises you can do at home to strengthen and support your joints.

In addition to customizing your own workout routine, it is imperative that you properly stretch before beginning any exercise program as this will help your joints build flexibility and greater range of motion.

3. Know your limits: Although exercise is extremely beneficial to one's health, certain exercises and physical activities might be too tough for your joints to handle. While you will likely experience some pain after working out, any soreness lasting longer than 48 hours is a sign that you have over exerted yourself and need to take it easier next time. This type of pain is an indication that you have overstressed your joints, and working through it may lead to injury.

4. Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet: A well-balanced diet provides enough energy and nutrition for ideal growth and development. The term "balanced" simply means that a diet meets your nutritional needs while not providing too much of any nutrients. To create a balanced diet, you must eat a variety of foods from each food group.

5. Investigate joint supplements: There is no shortage of joint supplements available on today's market. The best joint supplements contain a good blend of vitamins and minerals along with high levels of antioxidants. Exercise caution and patience when selecting both the supplement and brand, as many have fallen very short of the claims made by their respective labels.

Many popular supplements such as Glucosamine have failed to deliver on their claims in clinical studies. Several experts are now suggesting that joint support supplements containing fruits and vegetables are more useful to the body than synthetic compounds. You may want to take the time to read some supplement reviews before you shop so you can learn from others and see which products are likely to give you the best results.

Model Explaining How the Knee Joint Works

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    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Enjoyed your Hub - I fight for my knees strength every day.

      Exercise is a must but more specifically building muscle is key. The joints love to be pampered by strong muscle.

      Fish oil - will that help joint pain too?