As you get older, it becomes more and more important to take care of yourself. It’s common with every to begin experiencing stiffness or pain in the joints, making it essential to make adjustments in your daily life to accommodate this. But how exactly do you keep your joints healthy as you age?
Maintaining muscle and joint strength can be achieved through consistent low-impact workouts, balanced nutrition, and good posture. Remember to be cautious to prevent undue joint stress. These measures can help enhance your chances of preserving joint health as you age.
The Importance of Regular Exercise for Seniors
Regular exercise is important for people of all ages but becomes more necessary as we age to help maintain muscle and keep joints healthy. Seniors can benefit from regular exercise in all kinds of ways, including:
- Helping keep muscles strong
- Reducing the risk of falling
- Keeping your body and heart strong
- Helping boost cognitive function
However, one of the biggest benefits of regular exercise is how it helps keep joints strong and flexible. This can reduce irritation and discomfort caused by stiffness in your daily life.
Stay Active with Low-Impact Exercises
Just because regular exercise can be beneficial doesn’t mean it’s time to hit the weight room immediately. Your body is delicate, and it can become more frail or vulnerable to harm with age. It’s important to take it slow and begin small.
The CDC recommends that seniors perform roughly 150 minutes of low-impact exercises a week to help keep their muscles and joints strong. It can help to try the following:
- Walking or light jogging
- Water aerobics or swimming
- Resistance band workouts
- Light weight training
By performing low-impact exercises, you can keep your joints strong and begin building muscle to help keep them healthy.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A proper diet is a fundamental piece of your health. A healthy diet can provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients needed to promote healing and the overall health of your muscles and joints.
Try working beneficial foods into your meals, like:
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean protein sources like chicken or beef
- Legumes and lentils
- Whole grains
- Colorful fruits and vegetables, which are often rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties
Regularly consuming these foods can give your body the ingredients needed to keep your muscles and joints healthy—not to mention all the other benefits of a healthy diet.
Try to Maintain Your Weight
Gaining a few extra pounds can put extra strain and stress on your joints. This can contribute to irritation, weakness, or even arthritis as your joints struggle to work properly with the additional weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the pressure put on your joints. This is especially beneficial for seniors since their joints may be dealing with wear and tear from their younger years.
Working with a nutritionist can help you lose a few pounds. If you live in a senior living community, try reaching out to the team around you. They can give you advice or recommendations.
Practice Proper Posture
There’s a commonly-unnoticed action you can do in your everyday life to reduce strain on your joints—pay attention to your posture. It’s common to slouch or lean to one side when relaxing or comfortable, but this could put additional strain on your joints.
Your posture is important. Try to:
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor
- Make sure your back is well-supported when you’re sitting
- Avoid slouching or leaning, and keep your shoulders back
When standing, try to keep your weight distributed evenly across both feet and shift your position if you feel discomfort. This can help you avoid putting unnecessary strain on your joints.
Avoid Putting Yourself in Harm’s Way
One of the most important things you can do is to avoid putting yourself in harm’s way. This doesn’t just mean avoiding traffic or slippery stairs—it applies to everything.
Avoid hefty repetitive motion, and don’t strain your muscles. If you notice any discomfort, pain, or shaking, stop what you’re doing and assess the situation. If you constantly find yourself engaging in physical activities, make sure you’re lifting correctly and avoiding unnecessary strain on your body.
We Can Help Support Your Joints
A healthy body is an integral part of your daily life, and our Polar Ridge Senior Living team understands this.
Our team of caring professionals is here to help every resident feel their best, and we do everything we can to promote a high quality of life. We prioritize physical wellness and an active lifestyle–schedule a tour with us today.