The more physically active you are, the more likely you are to notice when something is feeling "off." One of the most common complaints from athletes, especially runners, is about their sore or aching joints. So, how can you ensure you have healthy joints for the long term? We are sharing our top 5 joint-health tips to bring you better mobility and greater longevity for your active lifestyle.
Joint health tips for better mobility
1. Take joint supplements
From your wrists to your ankles to your hips, the health of your joints dictates your mobility and almost every move you make. Instead of focusing on just your hips, for example, take a more "global" approach and boost the health of all of your joints with a joint supplement.
The best joint supplements are glucosamine and chondroitin, each of which come from natural substances found in healthy cartilage. Glucosamine sulfate is great for relieving joint pain, improving mobility and slowing osteoarthritis-related damage to the joints. This can be taken alone or with chondroitin sulfate.
2. Wear the right running shoes
In runners, the most common joint problems occur in the hips, knees, ankles and spine due to the impact of their sport, particularly when running on hard surfaces. Heavily cushioned training shoes provide a softer landing, easing the impact on your joints and helping you to develop strength in your legs. Prescribed orthotics are used by many runners to decrease joint pain and increase stability in unstable joints.
3. Do yoga or stretch regularly
To really commit to your joint health, do yoga or stretch regularly and even consider taking up yoga as your cross-training, giving yourself a break from your high-impact sport. Many arthritis patients take up yoga as a natural and effective method for relieving joint pain while strengthening the body. Certain yoga poses target harder-to-reach areas, such as the hips, where joint pain is common, opening, relaxing and stretching the area for greater mobility.
4. Warm up before you exercise, every time
Your warm-up period before exercise may be more important than you realized. The warm-up gently prepares your body for your exercise by gradually increasing your heart rate and circulation. This in turn loosens the joints and increases blood flow to the muscles, preventing injury to your joints and other areas of the body.
5. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
The best diet for your joint health is, perhaps not surprisingly, the commonly known Mediterranean diet, which is popular for its anti-aging, disease-fighting components. Consisting of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans, an anti-inflammatory diet helps reduce joint swelling and pain, duration of morning stiffness and disease activity in people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Focus on omega-3 fatty acid fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, anchovies and scallops, or take a fish oil supplement.
Implement our joint-health tips into your daily routine, and watch as your joint pain and stiffness evaporate from your experience, bringing you greater mobility and a happier active life.