Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about physical health in general, and we mostly talk about it in terms of "staying fit" and "losing weight." But there are other reasons to exercise consistently, such as for boosting your mental health or preventing future injuries. One very important reason to stay active and exercise in certain ways is to promote bone health and ensure that our muscles can support healthy and strong joints to prevent arthritis, osteoarthritis and other types of pain.
Knees are the joints most commonly affected as we age, but other areas commonly affected are hips, shoulders and ankles. The goal of exercising for joint health is to do strength training, which strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints and promotes stability and balance. Here are some good exercises for joint health:
- Squats strengthen the muscles around your knee and hip joints. To do one properly, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at your knees, lower your hips, keep your stomach pulled in tight and your body straight. Then come back up.
- Do yoga, tai chi or Pilates to strengthen your muscles in a low-impact way.
- Strengthen your hip muscles by doing standing side leg lifts. Stand straight, holding the back of a chair if necessary. While keeping your hips and shoulders facing straight, lift your leg to the side, do 10 to 15 reps and holding each for five seconds.
- Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise with great cardio benefits. You can boost muscle strength without hurting your joints.
Aside from exercising, you can maintain joint health by eating well, keeping a healthy weight, stretching and avoiding too many sedentary activities. You can also try a supplement for joint health like Naturade FlexAid Advanced Joint Formula, which contains natural ingredients for flexibility, mobility and joint comfort, including vitamin D3, glucosamine and collagen. It also contains Univestin®, which has Cutch Tree and Chinese Skullcap extracts.