Mobility and flexibility are incredibly important, particularly now more than ever. The less we move, the stiffer our joints. The harder we exercise, the higher the shock on our joints. Therefore, finding the right lifestyle balance is key to supporting healthy joints long-term.
Not sure where to begin? Here are 5 natural ways to prevent arthritis and joint pain.
1. Follow a moderate exercise program:
Exercise can do the body a world of good - but training too hard can also cause severe stress on your muscles, bones and joints. Joints contain synovial fluid, which acts like a shock absorber when exposed to impact. High impact sports and other factors can cause wear and tear to this region, leading to arthritis and joint pain.
If you are concerned about your joint health, opt for low impact sports such as swimming and pilates. Follow a gentle workout program that includes rest days. Avoid really high impact strenuous exercises, or aim to take more rest days in between training days to aid recovery and prevent chronic stress to your bones and joints.
2. Stretch often:
What’s the first thing you should do after a workout session? Even before chugging your protein shake.
The answer is to stretch! Getting into the habit of stretching in your workout routine can help ease joint pain and improve your overall mobility with little effort. Include a 5-10 minute stretching session after your workouts, and add in at least one longer stretching session a week to reap the benefits.
There are a variety of simple stretching exercises you can do to improve your range of motion, aid joint recovery and promote long-term flexibility. Additionally, stretching can relieve tightness in the muscles and joints to accelerate your recovery, getting you ready for another day of top performance.
3. Top up your magnesium levels:
Magnesium is an absolutely essential mineral that works its magic on over 700 reactions in the body. Many biological processes, including those involved in joint cartilage protection and muscle and nerve function need magnesium to kickstart the reaction.
Because of its importance, magnesium deficiency may contribute to brittle bones and arthritic pain. Magnesium deficiency is incredibly common due to today’s over-processing of food, which means many biological processes in the body may not be working to their peak potential.
Ensure your joint health is in tip-top condition by giving yourself a magnesium boost. Topically massage the magnesium oil into your achey joints and muscles after a workout to soothe and nourish your body with the powers of magnesium. Using a magnesium oil with supportive anti-inflammatory agents like turmeric and ginger can support joint health and reduce pain and stiffness.
4. Add turmeric to your dishes:
Often labelled the yellow spice, turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory herb that has been prized for its wondrous health benefits on the body. Used for centuries in Ayurvedic medical practices, turmeric contains a rich profile of bioactives that help target inflammation and stress to reduce the pain and damage to the body. These bioactives are called curcuminoids, which are responsible for turmeric’s rich yellow color.
Add fresh turmeric to your cooking, or use a turmeric-rich magnesium oil to get the best of both worlds.
5. Eat an Omega-3 rich diet:
Your diet is a foundational part of how your health progresses. Because joint pain is often caused by inflammation, eating an array of anti-inflammatory foods can help nourish and protect the body from within.
Healthy fats, or omega fats, have been shown to induce anti-inflammatory benefits in the body. These fats are found in oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Studies show that omega-3 fats had powerful effects on reducing joint pain caused by inflammation (1). As a start, opt to consume 2 portions of fish per week, and snack on a handful of nuts everyday to build a healthier diet.
Don’t let joint pain stop you - there are many natural methods you can incorporate into your lifestyle to protect your joints long-term and live a healthier life. Changing what you eat, stretching more, using magnesium oil and following a low-impact workout routine can all help support healthy, flexible joints.