Walk your way to healthy joints

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Regular walking when part of a healthy lifestyle can keep your heart and bones strong, as well as your joints mobile and functioning.

Walking is the preferred exercise by people with joint problems such as arthritis and osteoarthritis as it can help to improve your symptoms and quality of life. Walking for just 30 to 60 minutes every day can bring all sorts of health benefits. If you are new to exercise, be sure to take it easy and work up to a length of time that suits you. Be sure to consult with your GP who may be able to help you devise a walking workout plan.

Counting your steps can be a great way to make walking part of your daily routine. Most people aim for 6,000 steps per day and it’s worth keeping in mind that most people already walk 3,000 to 5,000 steps, just doing normal activities throughout the day.

Walking is free and almost everyone can enjoy this form of exercise. From walking in your local park to walking to work, it is something that can be easily added to your daily routine.

Here at Nutrabiotics we highlight some of the positive ways in which walking can help benefit your health:

Rebuilds joints

If you suffer from joint pain or stiffness when moving, exercise such as walking can help to rebuild the joint. Joint cartilage is like a sponge, and it gets nutrients from the compression and decompression of your body weight as you walk.

Helps to lose weight

Walking can help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. For every pound you lose, there’s four times less pressure and stress on your knees. This will help to lessen the stress on your joints and improve arthritis symptoms.

Strengthen legs

Walking helps to build muscle, which can in turn take the pressure of your joints and handle the weight themselves.

Reduces stress

Walking can help to reduce your stress levels by improving circulation, which in turn provides nutrients and oxygen to the cells. It can also stimulate the nervous system receptor and decrease the production of the stress hormone.

Strengthens bones

As we age, our bones tend to become weaker, but walking regularly can help to strength bones. This low-impact exercise can help to prevent loss of bone density, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis, fracture and injury.

Regulates blood pressure

Walking can help to lower blood pressure. Even if you are unable to complete 6,000 to 10,000 steps per day, you should try to walk at least 60 minutes per day to help keep your blood pressure levels in check.

Improves heart health

Irish scientists have reported that walking’s the best exercise for an inactive individual, especially adults to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases.

Improves your mood

Several scientific studies have proven that physical activity can help to prevent depression. Walking is highly recommended by physicians and psychiatrists to help uplift your mood. So, if you are feeling low or sad, you should take a walk and get some fresh air to feel better.

If you are new to exercise and walking, be sure not to walk too far or at a fast pace. Start by breaking up your walking routine, try 10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes per day. You should then be able to increase this to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Be sure to take necessary breaks and remember to keep yourself hydrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best exercises for joint problems

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If you suffer with joint pain and joint stiffness, exercise and adding stretching into your daily routine could be particularly helpful to reduce the symptoms.

Exercise not only helps to relieve these symptoms but could also reduce any unwanted weight and improve your mood. Though some people may think that exercise will aggravate joint pain and stiffness, that’s not the case. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles surrounding your joints strong is crucial to maintain support for your bones. Not exercising can weaken those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints.

As well as improving your mood and fitness, exercise can also:

  • Strengthen muscles around your joints
  • Help you maintain bone strength
  • Give you more energy
  • Make it easier to get a good night’s sleep
  • Help you to control your weight
  • Enhance your quality of life
  • Improve your balance

Exercises that can help reduce the symptoms of joint problems such as arthritis can include:

Stretching

Not only can stretching improve flexibility, it can also reduce stiffness and increase the range of motion of your joints. Stretching daily can help to relieve joint pain and stiffness. A typical stretching routine may consist of:

Warming up by walking on the spot or pumping the arms while sitting or standing for 3 to 5 minutes. Holding each stretch for 10-20 seconds before releasing it. Repeating each stretch 2-3 time.

Walking

Walking is a low impact form of exercise that can help with aerobic conditioning, heart and joint health, and mood. It is sensible to walk slowly initially and then increase the pace when possible.

Tai Chi or Yoga

Both Tai Chi and yoga combine deep breathing flowing movements, gentle poses and mediation. They increase flexibility, balance and range of motion whilst also reducing stress.

Pilates

Pilates is a low impact activity that stabilises the muscles around them. People new to Pilates should begin with a routine that uses a mat rather than a machine to build muscle safely.

Water exercises

Water helps to support body weight, which means that water exercises do not impact heavily on the joints. Swimming or water aerobics and other gentle water exercises can increase flexibility, range of motion, strength and aerobic conditioning. They can also reduce joint stiffness.

Cycling

Riding a stationary bike can be a safe way to get the joints moving and improve cardiovascular fitness. In addition to improving aerobic conditioning, cycling can reduce stiffness, increase range of motion and leg strengthen and build endurance.

Strength training

Strengthening the muscles around the affected joints can help to increase strength as well as reduce the symptoms that come with joint problems.

Gardening

As well as being a form of exercise, gardening offers the benefit of improving your mood. People should be gentle with their body, work slowly and avoid overstraining the muscles and joints.

You might notice some pain after you exercise, if you haven’t been active for some time. In general, if you are sore for more than two hours after you exercise, you were probably exercising to strenuously. Trust your instincts and don’t exert more energy than you think your joints can take. Take it easy and slowly increase your exercise length and intensity as you progress.

Before starting a new exercise routine, it is best to consult your GP, or a fitness expert who will be able to offer advice on the best exercises and routine to meet your needs.

 

What are the best foods for arthritis and joint problems?

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When keeping your joints healthy, one of the important aspects is maintaining a healthy diet to ensure you get key nutrients and vitamins. A healthy diet can also help to lose any unwanted weight that could put pressure on your joints.

Although there is no diet cure for joint problems there are a number of foods that have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system. Along with a balanced diet, adding all or some of these foods to your diet may help to ease the symptoms.

To help maintain health joint function, we’ve highlighted some of the best foods for arthritis and joint problems:

Fish

Certain types of fish are packed with inflammation fighting omega 3 fatty acids and experts recommend at least three to four ounces of fish twice a week. Omega 3 rich fish can include salmon, tuna, mackerel or herring.

Cherries

Studies have shown that cherries help to reduce the frequency of gout attacks and research has shown that the anthocyanins found in cherries have an anti-inflammation effect. Anthocyanins can also be found in other red and purple fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Dairy

Low fat dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese are packed with calcium and vitamin D, both found to increase bone strength. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and it has been shown to boost the immune system.

Broccoli

Rich in vitamin K and, broccoli also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which researchers have found could help prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Broccoli is also rich in calcium, which is known for its bone-building benefits.

Green Tea

Green tea is packed with polyphenols, which are antioxidants believed to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage destruction. Studies also show that another antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin -3 -gallate (ECCG) blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Citrus fruits

Fruits like oranges, grapefruits and limes are rich in Vitamin C and research shows that getting the right amount of vitamin can aid the prevention of inflammatory arthritis and maintain healthy joints.

Oils

Extra Virgin Oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats, as well as oleocanthal, which has properties similar to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. However, it’s not the only oil which contains health benefits, Avocado and Safflower oils have shown to lower cholesterol and Walnut oil has 10 times Omega -3 than olive oil.

Grains

Whole grains are known to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood. CRP is a marker of inflammation associated with heart disease, diabetes and joint problems. Foods like oatmeal, brown rise and whole grain cereals are excellent sources of whole grains.

Beans

Beans are packed with fibre, a nutrient that helps to lower CRP. They are also an excellent and inexpensive source of protein, which is important for muscle health. Some beans are rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, Zinc and potassium, all known for their heart and immune system benefits. Look for red beans like Kidney and Pinto beans.

 Garlic

Studies have shown that people who regularly at foods from the allium family, such as Garlic, onions and Leek, shared fewer signs of joint disease. Researchers believe the compound Diallyl disulphine, which is found in garlic, may limit cartilage damaging enzymes in human cells.

Nuts

Nuts are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and immune boosting alpha linolenic acid (ALA), as well as filling protein and fibre. They are heart-healthy and beneficial for weight loss. Try walnuts, pine nuts and almonds.

 

Although there is no cure for joint problems such as arthritis as it is a degenerative disease, eating a healthy diet and taking natural, nutritional supplements can reduce the symptoms and manage pain that comes with joint stiffness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The benefits of stretching

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There are many health benefits of stretching and incorporating it into your exercise routine, from increasing flexibility to reducing stress and body aches.

Stretching can be an important factor to help keep your joints moving. Stiff joints and joint pain is a common complaint felt by many people worldwide. Taking a few minutes each morning to stretch and warm up your muscles and joints can give you a great start to your day. We have highlighted 9 key benefits of stretching:

Increases your flexibility

Regular stretching can help to increase your flexibility, which is important as flexibility helps you to perform everyday activities. It can also help to delay the reduced mobility that can comes with aging.

Increases your range of motion

Stretching on a regular basis can help to increase your range of motion. Being able to move a joint through its full range of motion gives you more freedom of movement.

Improves your performance in physical activities

Performing dynamic stretches before any physical activity has been shown to help prepare your muscles for the activity.

Increases blood flow to muscles

Stretching regularly may improve your circulation. Improved circulation increases blood flow to your muscles, which can shorten your recovery time and reduce muscle soreness.

Improves your posture

Muscle imbalances are common and can lead to poor posture. Slouching and poor posture can put extra pressure on your joints.

Helps to heal and prevent back pain

Tight muscles can lead to a decrease in your range of motion. This can then lead to an increased chance of straining the muscles in your back. Stretching can help to heal existing back injuries by stretching the muscles. Regular stretching can also help to prevent future back pain.

Helps with stress relief

When you’re experiencing stress, there’s a good chance your muscles are tense. This is due to your muscles tightening up in response to emotional stress. When stretching you should focus on areas where you hold your stress, such as you neck, shoulders and upper back.

Calms the mind

Regular stretching can help to calm your mind. While you stretch, focus on mindfulness and meditation exercises, which gives your mind a mental break.

Helps to decrease tension headaches

Tension and stress headaches can interfere with your day to day life. In addition to a proper diet, adequate hydration and plenty of rest, stretching may help reduce the tension you feel from headaches.

Stretching tip

If you are new to stretching take it slow and let your body get used to the new routine. Aim to stretch for around 5-10 minutes per day, even if you don’t plan on exercising that day. Try to focus stretches on areas that help with mobility, such as calves, hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tips for joint condiditions image

Tips to maintain optimum joint health

Maintaining optimum joint health is important to aid mobility, as well as ensuring you lead a healthy, happy and active lifestyle.

Reduced mobility can have a direct impact on everyday life from walking to the shops, being able to get up and down stairs and even getting a good nights sleep.  Muscles can take a lot of stress throughout the day and these pressures can increase with an active lifestyle and age.

Common signs that you may need joint support can include:

  • You experience joint pain
  • Your joints may be tender to touch
  • It can take you a while to get up and moving
  • Your joints click, crack or grate when you move
  • You have a reduce range of movement, your joints are not very flexible
  • You’re overweight
  • You may participate in high impact exercise.

To further help to maintain optimum joint health, there are also some positive things that you can do, which include:

Keep moving

This is an important factor for healthy joints. Even if you can’t do much, just taking short walks or walking up steps rather than escalators can make a difference.

Stretch it out

Simple stretches can help to improve flexibility and ease joint pain. Stretching can particularly benefit arthritis suffers by lubricating joints and enhancing and maintaining a range of motion.

Drink water

This is important due to cartilage being lubricated by a liquid known as synovial fluid, and our cartilage is approximately 60% water.

Lose weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can be key to reduce stress on your joints. Losing weight can take a lot of pressure of weight bearing joints such as, knees, hips and your back.

Build muscle

Muscles can take a lot of the strain off your joints to help to support your body weight. Weight training exercises can help to build muscles and help to keep your muscles surrounding ligaments strong.

Be aware of your posture

Slouching may put extra pressure on joints. If you are sat down all day, try to take a short walk or break from sitting every hour. Posture is also important when lifting and carrying.

Diet

Eating a healthy balanced diet will not only help with weight loss but can also maintain joint health. Eat plenty of oily fish, such as Salmon or Mackerel, which can offer anti-inflammatory benefits.

Natural supplement

Utilise Nutrabiotics joint supplement, which works as a natural anti-inflammatory and works as an effective natural pain management to help ease discomfort. It also has the benefits of being fast acting and does not have the negative side effects associated with drugs.

 

 

health benefits of boswellia

Understanding the key health benefits of boswellia

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Boswellia for joint painThere are many health benefits of boswellia. It has been used for thousands of years as botanical medicine and is continued to be used today because of its powerful and fast acting effects. It is more commonly known today as Frankincense (Indian), through it’s Biblical references.

Boswellia (boswellia serrata) is a botanical medicine sourced from the resin of the boswellia tree, which is native to North Africa and India. The particular species of ‘Boswellia serrata’ mainly grows in mountainous forests of western and central India. The resin, which is secreted naturally to protect the Boswellia trees is tapped and purified for use in powder form. This gum tree resin consists of essential oils, gum, and terpenoids.

Boswellia extract is rich in boswellic acid and in herbal medicine and is often used to help treat joint and bone conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and even asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. This is because many studies have shown that boswellia may naturally reduce inflammation. In fact there are over 400 independent clinical studies supporting its use. Boswellia can also be used to support and hasten the body’s natural healing of wounds, bones and bruises.

Boswellia as a natural painkiller

Besides being an effective anti-inflammatory, boswellia can be an effective natural painkiller and may also prevent the loss of cartilage. A study published in 2008 suggested that boswellia may reduce pain and boost the physical capability of people with osteoarthritis of the knee. An earlier report from 2006 also suggested that boswellia may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

A 2003 study published in the journal Phytomedicine, found that all 30 patients who were reported to have Osteoarthritis knee pain and received boswellia, reported a reduction in the pain they experienced. They also indicated an increase in the distance they could walk and flexation of their knee.

Boswellia is an exciting nutrient with many anti-inflammatory health benefits and Nutrabiotics has combined Boswellia Extract with Glucosamine HCL, Chondroitin, Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid to create a specially formulated supplement to help joint pain, mobility, cartilage & bone health.

Find out more about Nutrabiotics Boswellia Supplements

Sengupta K, Alluri KV, Satish AR, Mishra S, Golakoti T, Sarma KV, Dey D, Raychaudhuri SP. “A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.” Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(4):R85.

Ammon HP. “Boswellic acids in chronic inflammatory diseases.” Planta Med. 2006 72(12):1100-16.

 

common types of arthritis

Common types of arthritis: understanding joint pain

It’s common for most people to experience aches and pains in muscles and joints from time to time. This is especially common if you exercise regularly or overstretch but many people won’t experience persistent or severe symptoms. There are several common types of arthritis, with more than 10 million people in the UK suffering from some form of the condition. However, it is not just a health issue for older people, around 12,000 children under the age of 16 also suffer from some form of juvenile arthritis.

Arthritis refers to more than 100 different types of diseases which all cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the joints. All arthritis conditions involve some form of joint pain. However, the seriousness, duration and degree of the joint pain vary from one type of arthritis to another. There are some familiar symptoms that can be linked to the most common types of arthritis, which include, early morning joint stiffness, tiredness, a general feeling of being unwell and weight loss.

The most common types of arthritis include, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis, which is where the joint cartilage is destroyed. This causes the joint to not move as smoothly as it should and can make movement of affected joints difficult and painful. It is sometimes referred to as arthrosis or osteoarthrosis. In other cases of osteoarthritis, the patient experiences bony outgrowth, also known as bone spurs, as well as loss of cartilage particles. The intensity of pain from osteoarthritis can vary from person to person from mild to severe. Osteoarthritis affects mostly people aged 40 plus, however it can be evident in younger people too. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, especially if it has been badly injured, but is most common in the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common type of arthritis in the UK. It is a form of inflammatory arthritis where inflammation of the joints occurs for no particular reason. Inflammatory arthritis is mostly recognised by swelling and inflammation of the synovial membrane, which causes serve pain and stiffness in a persons joints. People with rheumatoid arthritis experience white blood cells in the synovial membrane dividing, growing and multiplying. These lead to inflammation of the joint capsule and synovial membrane, loss of space in the synovial cavity, pain and stiffness in the joint. If there is no arthritis relief and treatment, this may lead to cartilage destruction. In the UK there are around 400,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis and it can affect adults of any age. However, it is more likely to start between the ages of 40 and 50. Genes you inherit from your parents may increase your chances of developing the condition, however genetic factors alone do no cause it.

Living with arthritis
Arthritis can affect people in different ways and pain can vary from day to day. There is no cure for arthritis, but there are some measures to take to help manage the condition. It’s important to keep the joints moving. It is suggested that the stronger the muscles that support the joint, then the less pain you’ll have in the joint. There are number of exercises you can do to help support joint mobility, such as stretching exercises, which can help to ease aches and pains and get the best movement from your joints, as well as strengthening exercises. Swimming is also encouraged, as it’s a great all round form of exercise for arthritis suffers as the joints are supported by the water, which makes it easier to move.

If you are overweight then you should consider reducing your weight to avoid unnecessary strain on the joints. If you are overweight, losing two stone is said to reduce pain in the knee by 50 per cent. Eating a health low-fat balanced diet can also help to improve your general health, and will also help with weight loss. Fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight the inflammation associated with arthritis. An antioxidant supplement can also help. Other joint supplements to try include, Chondroitin and Glucosamine supplements and Boswellia, which works as a natural inflammatory and can help sufferers quickly through its fast acting nature.

Turmeric is also a very powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient, it is not only fast acting, but when taken with Boswellia they have been independently proven to work harmoniously, which produces a safe yet effective anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant combination.

If you are suffering from persistent joint pain, or severe symptoms of arthritis then you should visit your GP to get advice on how best to manage your specific condition.

 

 

joint supplements

What to look for in joint supplements

There are many joint supplements on the market and this makes it very difficult to know what’s best for you, especially with such variety in price too, so we’ve created this simple guide to help you understand what to look for in joint supplements.  

  1. Compare price per dosage – not price per capsule

    On the face of it many joint supplements can seem to be good value, however many are very low in strength. Therefore it’s important to compare the milligrams (mg) strength of a product and how many mg’s each capsule/tablet delivers for the required dose, as often many more capsules/tablets are required for a true comparison. By comparing the mg strength of a product and how many mg’s each capsule/tablet delivers for the dose price/day the true value of a product can be determined.

  2. Purity of the product:

    You need to know exactly what a product contains, therefore you should ensure products contain 100% active ingredients without any added bulking agents or fillers and avoid land animal sourced ingredients as they are cheap alternatives to marine or plant sourced ingredients.

  3. Product quality

    When a product is made in the UK it has to meet the latest EU regulations that others do not. Also look for a product that is manufactured to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards and always ensure ingredients are ethically sourced.

  4. Guaranteed label claim

    A respectable company will guarantee their label claim by stating the percentage purity (%) of their key active ingredients so you can be assured of consistent product quality and efficacy. There are only a handful of companies in the UK who will guarantee this, Nutrabiotics are one of them.

  5. Capsules over tablets

    Tablets need to be bulked out with high fat binding agents thus reducing the purity of the product. Sprinkle capsules are low in fat and are more flexible for administration, look for sprinkle capsules that contain 100% active ingredient.

benefits of glucosamine

Understanding the benefits of glucosamine for joint pain

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Glucosamine is an amino sugar often made from shellfish or prepared in the laboratory. There can be many benefits of glucosamine, which is available in two forms, glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine sulphate. Nutrabiotics uses the natural form of glucosamine, which is naturally sourced from shellfish.

Glucosamine is found naturally in your body and plays an important role in making glycosaminoglycans and glycoproteins, which are essential building blocks of many parts of your joints, including ligaments, tendons, cartilage and synovial fluid. Animal studies have found that taking glucosamine can delay the breakdown of cartilage as well as rebuild it.

The body’s natural glucosamine is used to make and repair joint cartilage, but taking a nutritional supplement that contains glucosamine can help repair the damaged cartilage by adding to the body’s supply of glucosamine. Taking a daily dose of glucosamine can also help to improve mobility and address the pain of arthritis.

The benefits of glucosamine for osteoarthritis

Glucosamine is an ingredient commonly used in supplements taken by people suffering osteoarthritis, the most common form of joint disease. In osteoarthritis, cartilage – the material that cushions joints – becomes stiff and loses elasticity. This makes the joint prone to damage and may lead to pain, swelling, loss of movement, and further deterioration. Glucosamine is thought to help slow or prevent the degeneration of joint cartilage, the underlying cause of osteoarthritis pain.

Studies suggest that glucosamine may have the following effects:

  • Reduce osteoarthritis-related pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints.
  • Improve function in people with knee and hip osteoarthritis
  • Provide continued relief or symptoms for up to 3 months after someone stops treatment.

Further benefits of glucosamine

A glucosamine supplement can also help to reduce cartilage breakdown and maintain collagen synthesis in athletes involved in various sports, including football and cycling, as well as high impact sports such as running. In a study where 106 athletes with an acute knee injury took either glucosamine or a placebo, those that took glucosamine saw a significant improvement in knee flexion and extension, compared to the other group.

Glucosamine works particularly well with chondroitin and when taken together can strengthen joints. This combination works particularly well for people that like high intensity workouts, which can be demanding and can put a lot of pressure over the bones and especially over the joints.

Whilst sports performance can’t always be guaranteed a pain-free experience, glucosamine taken on its own or with chondroitin may help to keep those joints strong and less painful for longer.

If you have diabetes, it is recommended to speak to a health professional before taking glucosamine, as it might increase your blood sugar level and mean that you need to adjust your treatment to make sure it carries on working.

As glucosamine is often made from shellfish, if you have an allergy, it is also recommended that you look for a non-shellfish alternative.

Nutrabiotics joint care product contains both glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joints from wear and tear of everyday life. Click here for more information about nutrabiotics joint support.