To age well and gracefully, it's key to know the ways to prevent arthritis, so you can manage your life better in your older and wiser years! I'm sure all of you ladies know and love women in your life who battle arthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative cartilage disease causing bone on bone friction in the joints that causes debilitating pain. It happens with age and other factors of lifestyle. On the bright side, you can take steps now in your younger years to prevent the pain and hassle of dealing with arthritis later in life. Below are 7 ways to prevent arthritis that I hope you find useful!
1. Stay Active
Staying active is one of the vital ways to prevent arthritis. It reduces your chances of obesity related illnesses, builds lean muscle, strengthens your joints, improves your cardiovascular system and helps maintain proper body weight. Too much body fat puts a large burden on your joints, particularly the knees and ankles. This extreme pressure degrades the bone and cartilage, and function of these joints.
2. Consume Enough Calcium
Calcium is important for strong bones and overall bone and joint health. Low fat dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are great sources of calcium. If you can't or choose not to eat dairy, broccoli and salmon are excellent sources of calcium as well!
3. Don't Strain Your Joints
There are many different ways to strain your joints that you'll want to avoid right now. Don't perform repetitive actions which can cause pain and strain - such as typing for hours on end or continued physical labor. During exercise, make sure you're using proper form always to protect your joints from injury! Consult a trained professional to instruct you on proper form.
4. Build Strength and Stability in Your Hands and Feet
Your hands and feet are used the most often, all day, every day. Your feet are your body's support so it is absolutely vital to strengthen your foot muscles, your toes, and your ankles. Also make sure to increase your foot flexibility. To do this, raise up onto your tip toes, then back down just on your heels, raising your toes with heels rested. Also, rock your feet from outside to inside keeping your knees strong and stable and feet hip distance apart. To strengthen your hands, outstretch your fingers then tightly grasp to make a fist. Open them again and individually close in each finger at a time. Repeat these movements daily!
5. Strength Training
Strength training is also very important for building strong, lean muscle. Muscles move joints properly, so strong muscles means strong joints! Classes like yoga, Pilates, and circuit training are fabulous for strength training!
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Water acts as a lubricant, among many other vital things inside our body. Since cartilage is 70% water, drinking plenty of it is obviously important to maintain healthy cartilage! When you're well hydrated overall, your body's systems function properly and efficiently.
7. Vitamin C and D
Vitamin C and D have both been shown to help give support to healthy joints. Vitamin C reduces inflammation and Vitamin D has shown to potentially prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D is also important for calcium absorption. So make sure you're getting enough, especially if you live in Northwest regions with little sunlight.
It's so hard to see our loved ones in pain from arthritis! No one wants to be in chronic pain or have health problems arise as they age, simply because there was lack of care as a young adult! Sometimes we forget to really take care of our bodies now in preparation for the future. It's not just knowing the ways to prevent arthritis, but it's being proactive about it! Do you ladies have any family members who have arthritis? It does run in the family! What are some ways you've been proactive about your health in general to prevent diseases like arthritis?