Most of us understand that being overweight or obese is bad for our overall health. Many who are overweight commonly experience joint pain. Being overweight or obese adds extra wear and tear to our joints and can lead to arthritis. Once arthritis occurs, it may become increasingly more difficult to exercise, thus contributing to more weight gain and more health problems.
A joint is the connection between two bones. The joints and their adjacent structures allow your body to move. Within the joint, there are several substances that allow for movement and prevent the bones from rubbing together. Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue found in joints that is not as hard as bone, but is less flexible than muscle.
The synovium is a soft tissue membrane found in the joint capsule that secretes synovial fluid. This fluid acts as a lubricant in the joints. Keeping these structures intact and functioning properly is the only way to guarantee joint health long term.
Here are a few tips on how to maintain a healthy weight and keep your joints healthy. First, consult your doctor to find out if you are in need of weight loss. The next step is a healthy diet. Remember the old adage “you are what you eat.” A healthy diet rich in nutrients and low on bad fats and complex carbs is very effective in a weight loss program. It may be helpful to consult a nutritionist to ensure that you’re eating the right amount of the right things.
Aerobic exercise (running, swimming, biking, etc.) is an integral addition to a weight loss plan. Movement and exercise are the best ways to foster blood flow to and around the joints. A healthy circulation from exercise will ensure a strong exchange of nutrients to the muscles and joints of your body.
Another important part of a weight loss plan is resistance exercise. Resistance exercises can be performed with free weights, elastic bands or exercise machines. Strong muscles support the joints and help to relieve the physical stresses that would otherwise damage them. By adding resistance workouts to your routine, you will build muscle and maintain existing muscle and ligament strength.
These tips for maintaining joint health are simple, common sense solutions that can have lasting benefits and drastically improve our overall health. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise, and a little effort, is the best way to avoid joint damage in the future.