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We are all about caring. And today we are focusing on our joint health. Well… just the first chapter really. There a lot more to come! Let’s start.
Chapter 1: Movement
Avoid being sedentary. There are so many entertaining and beneficious activities you can do! If exercising is really a tough one for you, just plan an outdoor activity that motivates you to get off the couch or bed. Find something that will let you enjoy sunbeams and fresh air.
There are plenty of options: gardening is a perfect outdoor activity that will get you moving in ways you could not imagine and it really connects you with Mother Nature. Walking your dog or with a friend can be a daily routine that your doctor will surely recommend.
Another way is to choose swimming as it is a gentle activity on the joints and so complete too! Yoga and other forms of gentle exercise like Pilates and Tai Chi strengthen the mind-body connection, allowing you to get your body fit while you get your mind in shape. These exercises keep joints strong and muscles limber while erasing stress.
Do you enjoy hiking? Go for it. It strengthens muscles, builds denser bones and of course, burns calories too.
Always remember to take care of your body. Stretching is recommended before and after your activities. And even as a break from all that time sitting in the office. Consider it as some minutes to get re-energized and being kind to your ligaments, muscles and posture.
So, step one before exercising is stretching. That would make warming up step two, and a very important one by the way. Don't think about hitting the gym, the pool or the trails before warming up. Warming up your body before exercise is like warming your car up in the winter. To keep it running smoothly and for optimal joint safety, start slowly and get up to speed only after your muscles and joints have at least five minutes prep time.
Monitor how you're feeling after exercise. Joints still aching two hours after your workout are telling you something. Listen to them and lighten your routine next time.
Strength training is the best way to boost your metabolism and get a sleeker body, too. Research also shows lifting weights creates denser bones and builds stronger muscles that help stabilize and protect joints. Strong abs are essential to creating overall core strength and balance. Studies show that improving strength and balance are key to preventing falls and protecting joints from damage.
Have a consultation with a trainer that helps you know the right way to exercise and prevent injuries. Elbow, wrist and joint braces, or guards, not only prevent injury but also reduce the load on joints. Ask your doctor if braces may alleviate some of your joint stress and, who knows, perhaps improve your game.