If you like to stay active, keeping your joints healthy can be important. Although they won’t prevent more serious conditions such as arthritis, the following tips can help keep your joints in good condition – so you can carry on doing the things you love.
From getting out of bed to holding a pen, our joints are essential for everything we do. But when we age, our joints can become stiff and painful – whether from wear and tear of bones and cartilage, or different types of arthritis. The good thing is, there are some simple things you can do to keep your joints strong and flexible in later life.
1. A healthy diet
As with many other conditions, eating healthily can go a long way towards looking after our joints. One of the clearest benefits of a nutritious diet is keeping yourself at a healthy weight. When you walk, your knees are under a pressure of five to six times your body weight. So if you’re bigger than is healthier for your height, it can take its toll on your joints.
Eating a balanced diet full of nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, meat and fish gives you the vitamins and minerals your whole body needs to function properly. Certain vitamins, such as A, as well as omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts, have anti-inflammatory properties that support your joints, while vitamin D and calcium found in cheese, milk and leafy vegetables keeps your bones strong.
It needn’t be difficult to eat a balanced diet. Our home delivered meal service makes it simple to stock up on wholesome ready meals – perfect for quick, delicious lunches or dinners. A large number of our meals are low sugar and low in fat, ideal if you’re watching your weight. And you'll find a choice of frozen vegetables in our Vegetarian section to add a healthy side to home-cooked meals and desserts.
2. Gentle exercise
Our muscles help our joints to move and by exercising, you can help keep your muscles strong, allowing them to support your joints better.
One of the best forms of exercise for your joints is swimming. This gives your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle muscles a gentle, weight-free workout. You could also try yoga, which can help you improve your flexibility.
Along with a nutritious diet, exercise is also essential for maintaining a healthy weight – and avoiding putting your joints under extra pressure.
3. Supporting yourself with simple tasks
If you’ve begun to notice any joint pain when performing everyday tasks, take time to notice what is causing you pain, and think about if there’s anything you could change. For example, pouring a kettle for your cup of tea with one hand can put extra strain on your wrist joint, so try to always use both hands on the handle instead. Or, if your knuckles or finger joints hurt after writing, you may be gripping your pen too hard.
You could also think about making small changes around the house to make things easier for yourself – particularly in the kitchen. If you struggle to open lids, a rubber jar holder could be a real help. Or, if you find it difficult to reach down into a larger freezer, you could think about getting a smaller, counter top one.
What’s more, with our home delivery service, you needn’t put extra stress on your arms by carrying home heavy shopping bags. Simply order the ready meals and groceries you’d like, and wait for them to come to you.