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Joint Health 101

Do you associate stiff joints and a bad back or stiff hips with old age? Even though it’s a common problem as we age, now is the time to start taking care of your bones and joints so life can be enjoyed to the fullest. Stiffness, strains, sprains, dislocations and arthritis can be avoided by using a variety of training and lifestyle principles.

Balancing low and high-impact cardio is important to joint health. Plyometrics, running and other high-impact cardio are all great tools for the activation of fast-twitch muscle fibers, but too much can cause potential damage or stress. Adding low-impact exercises with equal balance to high-impact activities will strengthen the muscles to help protect your joints through strength. Even strength across the joint stabilizes and protects it. Elliptical machines, rowing machines and swimming are examples of low-impact cardio that will provide continued muscle strengthening.

Keep the Diet in Check  

Minimizing and reducing the amount of body fat and inflammatory responses are two ways to ensure healthy joints and muscles. To help improve energy levels and to reduce the amount of inflammation, a more alkaline diet is recommended. Avocados, apples, berries, ginger, kale and dates are important foods to include in the diet. Avoiding processed foods is also important to joint health. Try adding fish and whole grains.

Wear the Right Shoes  

Shoes should always provide stability and cushioning. The arches of the feet can be high, normal or nonexistent. Knowing the arch type and foot strike pattern is necessary for finding the right shoe. The main factor in shoes and protecting the joints is the compression ability, which is broken down with use. Replacing worn out shoes will reduce the amount of abnormal stress on weight-bearing joints.

 

Source: Dr. Nakul Karkare, who is an orthopedic surgeon highly specialized in limb reconstruction and joint replacement surgery. Contact him at 212-951-0182 or visit one of his nine Complete Orthopedics locations at NewYorkHipKnee.com

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