November 29 2016
When we see little kids being physically active, they typically have the ability to run, jump, climb and hang off of things like monkey bars and use their legs to pump themselves back and forth on swing sets with little to no effort at all. As we get older, with usage, experience, damage and time, these things amongst many other movements become a bit more difficult to do, if not much more difficult. Our joints contain a material called cartilage; in our joints, our bones do not come within direct contact with each other but rather have a cushioning of cartilage in between, it absorbs the shock when any impact and/or pressure is put on the joint to prevent the bones from rubbing together and wearing down. Our joints work like a door hinge and our cartilage is like the grease that keeps the door opening and closing properly, without it, the door hinge will stop working and the door won’t be able to open or close. As we get older our cartilage tends to wear down which can cause osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis which results in painful inflammation and the wearing down of cartilage, it can even wear away completely if we are not careful.
If we want to keep moving our bodies with ease and without much pain it is important to take care of our joints first and foremost. Doing regular activity such as yoga, pilates, many forms of dance such as ballet, or even just taking the time to stretch or walk every day is incredibly beneficial to your joints and bones among many other parts of your bodily health. Eating healthy is also quite important. Eating dark green vegetables helps to prevent excessive acidity in the joints. Eating soy is also helpful, as well as fish since both are rich in essential fatty acids and protein. It is also good to be conscious of many different types of supplements that can actually be helpful in building, maintaining and healing the joints. Omega 3’s can help to lubricate the joints and help to maintain cartilage as well as collagen supplements. Supplements like glucosamine (either sulfate or hydrochloride) are also very useful for the joints when it comes to osteoarthritis and maintaining cartilage health. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and maintenance and when consumed in food at a young age, it also helps a lot with bone and joint development. Taking care of our joints is much more important than we even realize. If we want to be able to continue being mobile well into old age we need to make sure our bones and joints are not only properly developed but taken care of as well. Maybe we can’t move with the same ease as a child on the monkey bars but we can certainly continue to enjoy being physically active if we take care of ourselves.