The importance of exercise and diet to your orthopedic health
The connection between exercise and joint health is highly significant, especially as we get older. Many of these age-related changes to joints are caused by lack of exercise. Movement of the joint, and the associated ‘stress’ of movement, helps keep the fluid moving. Being inactive causes the cartilage to shrink and stiffen, reducing joint mobility.
Turn off the tube. Television not only keeps you sedentary, which slows your metabolism, it also makes you prone to overeating. Read a good book instead, or better yet, pop on those cross trainers and hit the road.
Adding variety to a fitness program is a good way to keep motivated. Vary the activities. If you are getting bored with walking, try swimming or an aerobics class.
Alter the usual locations. Try a new route for walking or biking or even a different room for your exercises or stretching. By having several options, you can pick one that suits your mood or schedule.
Modify the times. Do your exercises at different times and for different amounts of time. If you become bored with your noon walk, try exercising in the early morning or after work or school. Instead of doing one 45-minute session, do three 15-minute sessions.
Build strong bones. Boost your calcium intake, because a diet rich in this important mineral helps to keep your bones sturdy and can lower your risk of osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease). There are plenty of sources besides milk, including yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, salmon and calcium supplements.
If you are looking for a tasty treat, reach for an orange – or a tall glass of orange juice. Why? Recent research points to the importance of vitamin C and other antioxidants in reducing your risk of osteoarthritis.
Add color to your diet. Choose fruits and veggies in a wide range of color to get maximum nutrients, such as fiber, disease-fighting antioxidants and an abundance of phytochemicals.
Hang out at the bar. Eating the veggies typically found in a plain tossed salad from a salad bar – romaine and Bibb lettuces, broccoli, spinach, kale or parsley – can lessen the amount of bone loss that occurs with age, research says, thanks to their high calcium count. But remember to go easy on the dressing.
If you are experiencing discomfort that just won't go away, please contact Omni Orthopaedics for an appointment at our Canton, OH office at (330) 492-9200, or at our Dover office (330) 602-3200.