Motion is Lotion
If you are over 40, your joints may be speaking to you like they never have before. They may be greeting you in the morning, or after an especially active day. Joint pain is common, but not inevitable. The human body is intended to move and the latest catchy phrase that I have heard is “Motion is Lotion”. Another simple notion, and I am all for simplicity. In my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I discuss movement plans that are safe and effective for those over 40.
Maintaining the motion of your joints can improve your strength, mobility and flexibility. Regularly moving your joints will result in decreased pain.
The human body has many joints, some move and some don’t. The ones I am addressing here are the ones that move, like your back, neck, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, hands and fingers. These are the joints that seem to affect people the most when they are bothersome. These are the joints that can affect your quality of life.
Joint issues will interfere with your ability to begin your journey to a more active life.
So what goes wrong to cause painful joints?
The cause of painful joints is varied, but the most common conditions that lead to joint pain include, osteoarthritis, cartilage tears, traumatic injury and overuse. Specific diagnoses and treatment recommendations are beyond the scope of my topic today.
If you have joint pain that interferes with your ability to work, or it interrupts your sleep, medical evaluation is warranted. The joint discomfort or stiffness that I want to address with my tips are for joints without specific diagnosis.
Tips to maintain healthy joints:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise: walk, ride a bike, swim, run, jog, take the stairs
- Maintain or build muscle
- Know your joints limits
- Move your joints (see my specific suggestions below)
- Improve your posture
- Stretching a warmed up muscle
- Wear padding when working or playing
- Eat a healthy diet that consists of adequate calcium and vitamin D
These are simple and effective ways to improve your joint function.
Benefits of moving your joints include maintaining and improving joint mobility and flexibility by bringing nutrition to the joint through increased blood circulation. This blood carries oxygen, nutrition and other components that the joint needs to say healthy.
The ABC’s of Motion is Lotion
One of my favorite things to do is to imagine drawing the alphabet with the limb. For example, when lounging by the pool, or lying on the couch, draw the alphabet A-Z with each of your feet. You will be amazed at how good your ankle joint will feel after you do this. You can do the same thing with your hands to exercise our wrists.
Try this to increase range of motion in your shoulders, bend at the waist, hang your arm down vertically towards the floor and move the arm as a whole drawing the alphabet.
For your neck, no abc’s here, but turn your head to the left and then to the right, and nod yes and no. For your back, bend forward to comfort, and back, twist and move side to side.
You get what I mean; I don’t need to go through every possible motion. The point is to MOVE the joints. Moving the joints naturally will improve them. Period.
Maintaining a healthy body weight going into our later years can improve your chances of enjoying your retirement and later years with little to no joint pain and with energy and vitality.
Consider obtaining professional help from a physical therapist who can help you with the proper exercises for your bothersome joint. Your primary care doctor or provider can often refer you for an evaluation.
If you need help to attain a healthy weight, I can assist you. In my book I can help you identify the best exercise and diet plan that fits you and your life style. My book is called Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating.
Order the book and regain your health.