11 May Five Top Tips for Healthy Joints this Winter
Your joints are the places in your body where your bones connect; they keep your skeleton supported and flexible, and make all your body’s movements possible. Because your joints are always working so hard, they are susceptible to wear and tear, which can lead to joint pain, stiffness or swelling. Your joints need a little extra care in this chilly winter weather; so here’s a look our top tips for healthy joints and some easy ways you can maintain joint health.
Watch Your Weight
Winter is a time when we tend to gain a few extra kilos. Excess weight puts added strain on your joints, especially the weight-bearing joints in your knees, hips and back. Keep your weight within a healthy range for your height; it’s one of the kindest things you can do for your joints.
The cartilage in your joints is largely composed of water (65-80%); your joints need water to stay lubricated, flexible and healthy. Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated; for cold weather, drink hot water with lemon, or caffeine-free herbal teas.
Keep inflammation at bay to prevent joint swelling, pain and stiffness. Check out our list of top inflammation-fighting foods, or try one of these anti-inflammatory supplements:
Exercise is tough in winter, but it’s still so important. Regular, light to moderate-intensity exercise helps to build muscle and reduce excess weight, easing the strain on your joints. Movement also helps to move the synovial fluid around to all parts of your joints, preventing stiffness. Remember to stretch before and after, giving your body a chance to warm up and cool down.
If you spend your work days sitting at a desk or standing behind a counter for long periods, be sure to take regular breaks to stretch, move around and change position. Also watch your posture, make sure your body is properly aligned and ensure you are not hunched over.
There are a few key nutrients that work to support the health of your bones and joints:
- Vitamin C: Needed for the production of cartilage
- Vitamin D: Helps the body absorb calcium, improving bone strength
- Vitamin K: works with Vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium
Take good care of your joints now, and you’ll help to safeguard them against problems like arthritis as you get older. Your body will thank you!