How To Maintain Healthy Joints

How To Maintain Healthy Joints

You don’t need to be the ultimate fitness guru to reap the benefits of weightlifting. Yes, lifting weights can help you get stronger, reduce fat, boost your confidence and endurance. But, in many cases, it can take a toll on your healthy joints.

That's why many people want to know how they can maintain healthy joints while lifting. Is there a way to prevent injuries and even possible fractures? If you want to know more, then you’re in for a treat. We compiled a practical guideline on everything you need to know about how to maintain perfect joint health. So, let's jump right in!

How to Keep the Joints Healthy When Lifting?

When you lift weights properly, you strengthen the muscles around the joints. These muscles become more durable and tougher, allowing the joints not to slide around too much. With regular exercise, you can decrease the occurrence of severe pain.

Eventually, you will build plenty of muscle mass, which helps the body handle the pressure on the joints. However, when you go overboard or do more lifting than your body can handle, you can experience discomfort and pain.

By keeping the joints in perfect shape, you can minimise this discomfort and ache. Here, you will take a look at some of the most practical dietary and recovery aspects around weight training that will help you maintain healthy joints.

Dietary Choices That Can Provide Healthy Joints

The older we get, the weaker the cartilage around our joints gets. Eventually, it can break or wear down. In cases such as these, people can develop arthritis. This is a common joint disorder that causes stiffness, inflammation, and pain in one or multiple joints.

Recent studies indicate that osteoarthritis affects 10% of the U.S. population. You can delay the process or ease the symptoms if you eat right. You can do that by prioritising Calcium and Vitamin D and consuming an anti-inflammatory diet. As well as avoiding smoking. Here is why.

  • Consuming an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Many people think that just because they are lifting, they can eat whenever and whatever they want. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The joints and muscles need proper nutrition. The exercise leaves them prone to inflammation, swelling, and muscle deterioration. You can prevent that with a proper diet.

The anti-inflammatory diet is aimed at reducing inflammation and keeping arthritis symptoms under control. As a result, it can boost overall joint health. The Mediterranean diet can be a perfect anti-inflammatory regimen.

It relies on fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, herbs, and whole grains to supply the system with the necessary nutrients. Although it is built around plant-based nourishment, it also allows moderate amounts of eggs, poultry, and dairy: the occasional red meat and plenty of seafood.

  • Prioritising Calcium and Vitamin D
Bones are made up of a protein matrix, especially phosphorus and calcium. Based on reports from the British Nutrition Foundation, since bones are living tissues, they have to get renewed through life. When people reach the age of 40, bone loss exceeds bone formation. As a result, the bone mass experiences a steady decline. Calcium and Vitamin D are the key nutrients for healthy bones. The system needs proper amounts of vitamin D to maintain an adequate calcium absorption rate. You can get this vitamin from diet, supplements, and sun exposure. Whereas high levels of calcium can help increase bone density and lessen fracture risk.
  • Avoiding Smoking
Smokers have 1.5 times bigger chances of experiencing overuse injuries, such as tendonitis (tendon inflammation) and bursitis (inflammation around major joints). They are also more vulnerable to fractures and injuries. When weight lifting, this could pose a serious threat to your joints. However, when you stop smoking, you can improve your athletic performance. Since quitting boosts lung function and growth, it becomes easier to take in more oxygen when lifting and maximise your workout routine.
  • Maximising the Recovery After Weight Training
After a light workout, the muscles and joints might need around 24h to fully recover. But, with rigorous training, it can take anywhere from 2 to 3 days. If you’ve barely exercised before, and you just jump into weight lifting, your body may not be able to handle that pressure. And the recovery lasts much longer. To reap the benefits and keep the joints healthy, here are a couple of tips you should try.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
With each extra pound, your joints register that additional pressure of the bodyweight. If you have around 200 pounds, your knee is carrying an additional 800 pounds of pressure. In other words, just a couple of pounds less can make a difference. Based on studies, weight loss can significantly reduce joint pain. As well as improve the delayed progression of joint structural damage.
  • Lessen the stress on the joints
Fitness enthusiasts often want to test their limits. So, they do more heavy lifting to amplify their results. But, to keep the joints healthy, you should avoid movements and positions that add extra pressure and stress to your joints. That’s why it’s important to know and acknowledge your limits, experts suggest.
  • Keep moving

Don’t hold a single position for too long. When lifting, it is important to stretch for a couple of minutes. This is something you can do at home after training. Stretching prevents stiffness, stimulates blood flow, and improves flexibility. These are all key factors when trying to prevent an injury during your next workout.

Final Thoughts

Even though lifting might seem like the easiest sport, it requires a great deal of practice, dedication, and commitment. The more you focus on your exercise, the lower the chances of experiencing dislocations, strains, and sprains. Keeping your joints healthy requires an equal amount of attention. You should eat healthily, avoid smoking, and know your limits.

If you just overdo it, the recovery process takes much longer, and the fatigue will make you want to quit. That’s where all the tips and information listed here can help. With this practical guideline, you can keep the joints in perfect shape and enjoy a worthy exercise. So, regardless of the exercise you choose, you will always reap the benefits.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5480771/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-keep-your-joints-healthy-189256

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/smoking-and-musculoskeletal-health/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/simple-tips-to-protect-your-joints

https://www.keckmedicine.org/how-to-maintain-joint-health-and-prevent-arthritis/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788203/

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/health-conditions/bone-and-joint-health.html

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