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Three New Year’s Resolutions for Better Joint Health

By Brian Acton

A new year is both a time to reflect on the year that has passed and an opportunity to plan your next priorities for self-improvement. One goal worth striving for is better joint health, and if this has been on your mind, you may be planning to make joint health a focus for next year. But to improve your joint health, you’ll need an action plan. To develop one, you’ll have to break down your focus on joint health into specific priorities with actionable to-do lists. Luckily, we have a few resolutions you can make to improve your joint health, along with suggestions on how you can get there. Start an Exercise Routine If you want to promote joint strength and mobility, one of your first priorities should be establishing a regular exercise schedule. Exercise promotes joint stability, flexibility and even pain reduction among people with osteoarthritis. There are many ways you can get started:
  • Daily walks: Simple, accessible and easy to schedule.
  • Exercise classes: Exercise classes can be a fun way to engage in a social activity while breaking a sweat. Plus, putting yourself on the calendar for a class can your likelihood of committing to the workout.
  • Low Impact Exercise: If your joints are frequently painful during common movements, low impact exercise like swimming is easier on the joints.
Establish a Joint-Friendly Diet Losing weight can increase your joint function and reduce joint pain. Combined with the exercise we mentioned above, a healthier diet can help you shed pounds and make a major positive difference for your points. Of course, this includes common sense adjustments like cutting back on sugar and eating more vegetables. But there are also specific foods you can eat that are good for your joints.
  • Calcium Rich Foods: Calcium-heavy foods such as dairy, white beans, broccoli and canned fish are good for bones and joint health.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D keeps your bones strong and can help. While sunshine is one of the primary providers of Vitamin D, we can also get it form fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep A good night’s sleep is important to so many factors related to both our physical and mental well-being. Joint health is one of those factors. For instance, a lack of good sleep has been shown to increase vulnerability and sensitivity to joint pain. Getting a good night’s sleep can also help you stick to your diet and exercise routine. Here are a few ways you can promote good sleep:
  • Follow the Above Resolutions: Eating right and exercising can help you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Avoid Sleep Inhibitors: Before bed, certain things can hurt our chances for a good night’s sleep. Avoid cell phones, caffeine, fatty meals and other sleep inhibitors before bed.
  • Establish a Schedule: Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This helps your body establish a predictable rhythm for sleep.
In Closing Healthier joints are a worthwhile focus for next year, but you’ll only be able to attain them by setting achievable goals and then coming up with a plan to meet those goals. By setting your goals, establishing your plan and staying consistent, you’ll can make real progress toward healthier joints in 2017!
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