Problems with your joints can be a real pain. At Active Nation, we want to help you to be as fit and healthy as possible and joint pains can be an unpleasant barrier to an active lifestyle. But, whether you have regular joint pain or not, it’s important to take care of your joints in order to minimise your chances of future injury. We’ve pulled together some key ways to please you knees, from easy exercises that will help build muscle, to foods and supplements that can strengthen your bones.
Exercise is important in order to build up muscle around the joints. If your knees are causing you pain, for example, then building up the quadriceps muscles in the front of your thigh can help to ease the pressure being placed on your joints.
Exercise is also very important if you’re overweight, as you’ll be placing a lot of unnecessary stress on your joints. Losing weight will therefore help to ease joint pain and the best way to lose weight is through exercise and a healthy balanced diet.
Of course, many of the sports you love might have more of an impact on your joints than others. Any exercise which involves sudden or high impact movements such as twisting, running and jumping, might cause joint pain. But don’t let experiences of pain when working out put you off exercising. There are plenty of low impact sports which can actually help to reduce joint pain in the long term.
Low impact sports
Swimming and Aqua Aerobics are the best way to workout whilst placing minimal impact on your joints. The water will support your body weight, whilst also providing a natural resistance that will work your muscles. Plus, the warmth of the water will help soothe any pains! Check out our pool timetables to find a session that suits you.
Cycling, whether outdoors or on an indoor machine, is a fantastic way to build up your leg muscles without placing sudden, high impact on your joints.
Walking on flat and even terrain places very little strain on your joints. You can set a pace that is right for you and you don’t need any special equipment, skill or training – plus it’s free! So, get out about and see the world!
Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates are all fantastic ways to build up specific muscles without placing sudden impact on your joints. Let your instructor know your specific issues before your class and, when positions come up that might be problematic, they will be able to recommend alternative movements which you may find easier to start with.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna, and are great foods if you’re experiencing joint pain since they work to fight inflammation. Fish oil supplements can also reduce pain and stiffness in the joints.
Nutrients and vitamins, particularly vitamin C, D, K, and calcium, can help build bone strength. So, stock up on dairy produce, fruit and leafy green veg – particularly broccoli, spinach, kale and cabbage!
Many people also report on the pain-relieving properties of turmeric. Although unconfirmed, turmeric is a delicious ingredient to add to your food regardless – and if it helps your symptoms, even better!
A final albeit obvious health tip is to stay away from smoking. Your tissue needs oxygen to heal but the carbon monoxide from cigarettes replaces 20% of the oxygen in your blood, not to mention all the extra health problems caused by smoking!
So, keep your body moving in a way that avoids stress and high impact on your joints and stick to a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients, and your knees will thank you! Check out our range of activities to find one which suits your needs and sign up to Active Nutrition for your personalised, balanced nutrition programme.