“A body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest.”
When Sir Issac Newton wrote his First Law of Motion in 1687 he was describing physics, but this principle can also explain the way our bodies work and move.
Here’s how: If joint pain keeps you from being active and doing the things you want to do, not moving can end up increasing your pain until it becomes hard to do anything.
Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to maintain healthy joints so you can keep living life to the fullest.
How to Keep Your Joints Healthy
As you age, maintaining healthy joints can help you stay mobile. While we can’t prevent all age-related changes in our bodies, there are steps we can take to maintain our joint health and remain physically active at any age.
Low-impact exercise — like walking, swimming, cycling, golf, strength training, and stretching — can help your joints stay mobile and your muscles strong.
At Senior Star we offer a wide variety of movement and exercise programs to help you stay active.
Try one of our programs, such as:
- Zumba Gold®
- Walking Club
- Laughter Yoga
- Rock Steady Boxing
Or, use our fitness center anytime to add some movement to your day. When doing any type of exercise, you should be sure to protect your joints by taking it slowly at first.
Increase Your Range
To preserve your current range of motion or even improve, try extending, bending and rotating each of your joints. Not only will you help improve flexibility, but you may also relieve stiffness and pain.
Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend specific exercises, but it’s always beneficial to pay extra attention to the back, neck, knees, and shoulders.
Strength training can help you build muscles that help protect your joints and keep you mobile. Pilates and yoga incorporate a lot of core-strengthening exercises, making them an excellent choice for mature adults.
A strong core can help improve balance to prevent falls.
Fuel Your Bones
Calcium and vitamin D can help you maintain strong bones. Dairy products are great sources of calcium, but greens and leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale also offer calcium.
As part of our 7 Areas of Wellness, we provide healthy and well-balanced meals for our residents. All of our communities have full-service dining rooms with flexible menu options for all dietary needs.
Residents are able to select from a variety of menu options at every dining experience to suit their dietary preferences and needs.
Stand Up Straight
Proper standing and sitting posture reduces joint stress and can decrease the risk of injury to the surrounding muscles.
Be mindful of your posture as you go about your day and especially when sitting or standing for longer periods of time.
Stretch Your Limits
To loosen up your joints, ligaments and tendons, try to stretch at least three times a week. Some people enjoy stretching after walking or light exercise. Others prefer to wind down and then their day with gentle stretches before bed.
Ice is a natural pain reliever. If you have a sore joint, apply a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel for up to 20 minutes at a time. It can help numb the ache and ease the swelling.
Cold plunging has been around for years but has recently gained popularity after it has been shown to reduce inflammation, improve your mood and increase your immunity. To reap the benefits of cold water therapy or cold water immersion, you can try taking an ice bath, cold shower or simply placing part of your body in a cold bucket of water.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference in Joint Health
As you can see, small changes throughout your day can help you protect your joint health as you age. At Senior Star it is our goal to help you achieve lifelong wellness. Interested in learning more about Senior Star’s wellness initiatives and signature programs? Check out this guide or contact us to learn more.