One in three U.S. adults suffer from some type of joint discomfort, but there are things you can do to ease discomfort and stop joint pain before it starts!
1. Lose weight. Carrying excess weight means extra stress on your joints, especially your knees. Losing just ten pounds can make a big difference in joint comfort.
2. Exercise! It will help you lose weight, which will decrease the stress on your joints, but will also strengthen your muscles and bones, which help protect and support your joints. Be sure to add strength training to your routine, and always warm up before you work out. Stretching gives your muscles, joints and tendons a chance to warm up, which can make all the difference in avoiding inflammation and injuries.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and high in fiber, with high levels of vitamins and antioxidants, which may help protect the joints against free radicals, which may be damaging to joints and can contribute to joint discomfort. Eat lots of grapefruit, papaya, oranges, mangoes, raspberries, broccoli, and avocados.
4. Add more Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet. Certain fatty acids can also help reduce swelling and discomfort in joints. Good dietary sources include coldwater fatty fish, green vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
5. Quit smoking. Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs and heart, it’s also bad for your joints. Cigarettes decrease bone mass, which increases your risk of fractures, and also contain ingredients that can increase discomfort and inflammation in the joints.