Written by Paul Starkey, Managing Director at Neo G
While you may think joint problems are the preserve of the elderly, statistics actually show that it’s an increasing problem for people at any age. More than 10 million people in the UK are estimated to suffer from joint problems , and the number is growing as the population continues to lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles .
What you do in early and middle age can have a massive effect on your likelihood of developing future problems, with many people unaware of the lasting damage they are doing to their joints. Here are the top five most common mistakes you might be making and how you can change your habits to prevent problems:
Mistake 1: Sticking to just one type of exercise
When you find a type of exercise you enjoy, it can be tempting to neglect other types of movement in favour of your favourite activity. However, by doing the same activities each time you exercise you’ll always engage the same muscles, which can put increased pressure on your joints over time.
Prevent problems in later life by mixing things up. Whether you’re a keen runner or a cycling fanatic, intersperse your favourite exercise with cross training sessions. Weight training can help strengthen muscles around the joints and has even been shown to reduce pain in people with existing conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis , whereas low impact activities such as swimming and hiking can help to keep joints mobile and increase strength without putting undue pressure on the joints.
Mistake 2: Carrying extra weight
One of the best things you can do to avoid joint problems and ease existing conditions is to maintain a healthy weight. Knee problems in particular can arise when you’re carrying extra weight, with some studies estimating that every extra pound you carry puts on four extra pounds of pressure onto your knees when you walk . This can manifest in knee pain and even osteoarthritis if not addressed.
If you know you’re overweight, combining aerobic and strengthening exercises can help you lose weight and has added benefits for the joints, helping to keep them mobile and increasing strength.
Mistake 3: Failing to stretch
It’s often a part of our health that gets neglected – especially after a hard workout – but strengthening and maintaining your flexibility can be one of the best things you can do to keep your joints healthy.
Stretching helps to keep the muscles around the joint more elastic, which in turn increases the range of movement available to the joint, preventing stiffness and increasing mobility. Ensuring you stretch after exercise is key and consider adding activities such as yoga or Pilates into your weekly routine to prevent problems arising in later life.
Mistake 4: Relying on diet alone
When it comes to maintaining healthy bones and joints a good diet is key, but relying on diet alone can be problematic.
Vitamin D, Copper and Calcium are three key vitamins and minerals to get more of into your diet to help maintain healthy joints, with numerous studies showing that low levels of Vitamin D may increase the risk of conditions such as arthritis . Vitamin D is most commonly created by exposure to sunlight, but low levels of sunlight in the UK and its scarcity in food can make it difficult to get your recommended allowance through diet alone.
A supplement such as Daily Defence from Neo G, which contains active ingredients Copper, Calcium and Vitamin D, can work alongside a healthy diet to help you get the vitamins and minerals you need to keep joint problems at bay.
Mistake 5: Ignoring pain
It can be easy to ignore aches and pains after or during exercise and put it down to a particularly tough session but ignoring continued pain can be one of the worst things you can do for your joints.
While a bit of discomfort during exercise is normal and to be expected, pain that continues long after a workout can be cause for concern, for example a sharp pain in your knee, or a twinge in your back. If this is the case, ensure you stop the activity and give your body time to rest and recuperate, using cold or hot therapy if necessary to aide your recovery.
For more information about Neo G go to: https://www.neo-g.co.uk/
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