Everyday we get bombarded with “eat right, lose weight, exercise” – this sometimes takes money, time, and motivation. Joint pain affects us all at some point in time, but why? Being overweight, lack of a vitamin or mineral, osteoporosis, dehydration, the reasons are endless. Here are some easy tips and tricks to protect your joints, including your spine.
- Honestly, for every 1 pound you are overweight, that is an extra 4 pounds placed on your knees! Yes, surprisingly only 1 pound. So, if you are 10 pounds overweight, that is an extra 40 pounds. This leads to wear and tear on the joint contributing to osteoarthritis from the constant extra pressure on the joint.
- Limit soft drinks, sugar, and especially diet sodas. Diet drinks, also some “light” and “sugar free” foods and drinks contain aspartame, which is an artificial sweetner. Aspartame is stored in your muscles and the body can’t excrete it properly, therefore increasing joint and muscle pain.
- Roughly one (1) can of “regular” soft drinks contain almost 10 whopping teaspoons of sugar! This adds inches to your waistline and pressure to your knees, hips, and ankles. Increasing sugar consumption gets converted to fat adding on those extra pounds making it harder to lose.
- Water aids to support and hydrate your joints, along with everything else to keep things “flowing” as it should.
- When you move, whether walking, or housecleaning, protective fluids (synovial fluid) are being pushed into the joint coating and nourishing it. Just like motor oil in your car. 🙂
- They say “exercise, exercise” – actually lightweight strength training is best for joint protection, and pain relief. If your muscles are stronger, your joints will be protected and supported. Performing even 4-5 various exercises per day (15-30 reps, 2 sets) or 4-5 days per week can make a real difference.
- Some cardiovascular exercise can actually create havoc to your joints. The repetitiveness of the movement can cause wear, tear, and even breakdown. If you love cardio, limit it to 20-30 minutes a few times a week, anything more than that may be aggravating the situation.
- To protect your spine at all times, make it a habit to “zip up your stomach” (as if trying to button tight pants). When your abdomen is contracted, your spine is also supported. Another great benefit, it will help flatten your stomach, aid with bladder control, and improve posture.
WHAT I RECOMMEND
If you have a hard time motivating yourself to do these things, especially exercise, choose a program that is right for you. I love Denise Austin and she makes me laugh to keep going! On my Roku, (under Hulu), Denise has over 180 workouts ranging from butt blaster, body challenges, and total body focuses that are effective for toning, weight reduction, and cardio
fitness. She uses lightweights of 1 pound or greater, and your own bodyweight for the challenge. The workouts are usually an hour or so, but if I don’t have that much time, usually 30 minutes will suffice with a cool down of 5 minutes or so. Also, hydration is key!
I have literally trained myself 24 hours a day to hold my stomach in, which I have done since I was a teenager. I have never had low back pain, and my job can be pretty stressful at times with lifting, and bending throughout the day.
I also drink almost 100 ounces of water a day, (see my blog Water, Water, Water…) which I can tell if I haven’t had my allowance for the day. Luckily, when I hydrate this much, daytime fatigue doesn’t set in, and I sleep better at night.
Give this a try, and let me know if it seems easy, hard, or you just can’t do it. Write a comment or email me, as I’m always willing to help you reach your goals!
Enjoy the day and make it great!