3 Science-Backed Ways to Keep Your Joints Healthy as You Age
Taking care of your joints is important for keeping you mobile and active. Joint health and pain can be affected by a wide range of factors but remember, prevention is key. You can help avoid stiff knees and expensive hospital visits later in life by taking the right steps early on. Consider these tips to age with healthy joints intact!
Contrary to popular belief, distance runners actually tend to have better joint health later in life than non-runners, as well as lower rates of knee osteoarthritis. According to a study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, veteran marathoners had half the amount of arthritis as non-runners.
This may be due to a few reasons. Firstly, joints and cartilage may be subject to the “use-it-or-lose-it” principle. With daily small stresses such as running, your joints stay lubricated and new cartilage is built. Studies also show that the demands of running conditions your cartilage to become more resilient and build back stronger!
Runners also tend to have a lower body mass index than non-runners, reducing excessive strain on the joints. Keeping a healthy weight makes it less likely that you will be affected by chronic low-grade inflammation throughout the body which is a potential key factor in the deterioration of joints.
Flexibility is shown to play a role in injury and arthritis prevention, lubrication of joints and maintenance of your range of motion helping your body reach its optimum fitness levels. Without flexibility training such as stretching, your muscles become tight, putting you at risk for joint pain or strains.
To receive the full benefits of stretching, incorporate a quick stretch session when your muscles are the most pliable and warm, which is usually right after your workout. Alternatively, you could incorporate a few simple stretches into your daily routine or take up a yoga class.
Strength is your friend
If you are looking to grow old with healthy mobile joints, injury prevention is key. Joint injuries are frequently caused by weakness or instability elsewhere in the body. Consistent strength training helps hold the body in proper alignment and protect the bones and joints when moving.
Research published in The Journal of Rheumatology backs this theory up, with an analysis suggesting that strengthening the muscle groups around affected joints improved function and eased pain in people with osteoarthritis. As preventing muscle loss and sustaining muscle strength is crucial for healthy joints, a metabolite supplement to consider would be beta-Hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid or ‘HMB’. HMB effectively prevents the breakdown of muscle protein and can be found in our Muscle and Bone Health Supplements.
45+LIFE Muscle and Bone Health has been specifically developed for adults aged 45 years and older. It combines key vitamins, minerals and nutrients with HMB, a game changer when it comes to maintaining muscle mass.