We all want to stay active and pain-free for as long as possible. In order to do that, we have to take care of our bodies, particularly our bones and joints. The good news is, there's plenty of ways that you can maintain your bone and joint health for many years to come.
Feel The Sunshine
Everyone loves a good dose of the Mandurah sunshine.
The best part is, it's actually good for us. The sun is our number 1 source for vitamin D, one of the key nutrients for bone health. However, many of us don't get enough daylight to maintain healthy levels.
The best way to optimise your vitamin D production is short bursts of sun exposure during the middle of the day. Research shows that lunchtime is when the UV rays are ideal for producing vitamin D and avoiding melanoma. Just a few minutes in summer, or 10 minutes in winter, will do the trick. Expose as much skin as you can comfortably. For people who aren't able to get regular sunlight exposure, a vitamin D supplement is recommended in order to protect bone density.
Eat Your Anti-Inflammatories
It might seem easy to pop an ibuprofen every time your joints are a bit sore. However, these can have serious long term effects on your health.
When it comes to bone and joint health, your best bet is to enjoy anti-inflammatory foods. These foods have natural anti-inflammatory compounds, such as omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin.
Compounds like these can reduce inflammation effectively without upsetting the tummy. Some of your most effective anti-inflammatory foods include oily fish, turmeric, ginger, olive oil, vegetables, walnuts and chia seeds. However, if you don't love these foods, or are dealing with serious joint pain, you can also source an effective anti-inflammatory supplement instead.
Move Your Body
It might seem counter-intuitive, especially if you have already experienced a joint injury. But moving your body regularly is one of the best ways to maintain bone and joint health.
This is because the majority of exercise puts a load onto the bones and joints, and the body strengthens them in response. The movement doesn't have to be strenuous, but simply 'weight-bearing'. This means just a daily walk along the beach can help keep bones strong and healthy.
You can also try strength training, body-weight exercises, dancing, martial arts, pilates – the list is endless! If you are dealing with joint pain, consider gentle therapeutic exercises. Yoga can help to stretch out the muscles that cramp around the joint, and can even help re-stabilise the joint. If you're not sure what exercise is suitable for you, consult your healthcare practitioner.
Get Your Joint Nutrients In
If you are already dealing with bone and joint health issues, such as an injury or arthritis, you might want to step up your game.
By supplying your body with the nutrients you need to rebuild the joint, pain and symptoms may reduce naturally. You can get these nutrients by consuming foods based off bones – sardines, slow-cooked broths and roasted marrow bones. Plant-based eaters can aim to consume the amino acids that can build joints.
However, the easiest way is to supplement with the precise compounds needed. Research supports the supplementation of glucosamine in relieving joint pain. The therapeutic dose is approximately 1500mg per day, spread out over 3 doses. Chondroitin has also shown promise at a therapeutic dose of 800mg per day. The best part is, you can get high quality nutrition supplements right here in Mandurah.
Joint food powder. Nutritional support for joints, cartilage, and ligaments.
Sam is an inspired nutritionist (BHSc), health writer and speaker. Her passion lies in sharing her knowledge and helping people to find their own path to a thriving life. You can find her at www.samanthagemmell.com