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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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