The Importance of Exercise to Joint Heath. Joint health should be a concern for everyone—regardless of your age. Joints are the points where two bones meet and are equipped with muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and Synovial membranes that are built to bear weight and allow movement. Joints work toward executing all our movements and making us flexible. Because of this, they are also more susceptible to wear and tear.
There are several ways to help ease aching joints: two important ways include regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Thirty minutes of low impact aerobic exercises three times a week can help to promote joint health. These exercises could include swimming, biking, and walking—to help reduce excess weight and in turn decrease the extra load on the joints.Walking and running are great ways to maintain a healthy weight, strengthen joint muscles and build stamina.
In terms of heart health, strengthening your bones, and helping to keep you fit, walking and running are ideal. But starting a running program can be intimidating and often beginners “burn out” too quickly.
Planning Your Running Routine
So how does one start up a running routine? The trick is to start small. Experts advise to start slowly—not to begin by running immediately. At first, just go outside, stretch and take a long walk. By doing this, you are easing your body into a routine that it is familiar with as well as building up stamina. Be sure to first master your walking technique. Don’t walk slowly or shuffle but move at a pace steady enough to make your pulse rate increase. Always keep your back straight, head erect and tummy pulled in. Arms should swing loosely and you should land on the heel of the foot at all times. Soreness and fatigue will increase if you walk flat-footed or on the ball of your foot. Don’t strain for distance; and when climbing up an incline, lean forward and continue to breathe deeply at all times. Your speed is less important than the time spent on your walk as it takes about 20 minutes for your body to begin realizing the effects of any habitual form of exercise.As you find yourself becoming more comfortable with walking, pick up your pace. Aim for a quick stride that you can continue to maintain. The goal is to get your body more used to a heavier work out. But don’t overdo it.
Your next goal is to try and power walk at a relatively fast pace for longer and longer periods of time. Once you can do this efficiently for a month, move slowly on to jogging alternating between jogging for thirty seconds and power walking for a few minutes. Ease yourself into this and push the intervals of jogging up as you progress. Caring for Your Joints While RunningThe biggest advantage of walking or running is that it can be done just about anywhere. But not all surfaces have the same impact. It is recommended that you regularly vary your location because of the different impacts involved and the stresses which may affect and strengthen your joints differently. For example, running on softer surfaces such as sand or grass may increase the risk of injuries. This is because running on uneven and inconsistent surfaces like the beach creates varying pressures in your feet, ankles, knees and hips with every step. Natural surfaces like these also tend to be uneven and slope, and cause extra pressure on the ankles and feet to maintain their balance. And for many, this may cause unnecessary wear and tear and even lead to possible tendonitis, joint inflammation and even fractures. That said, grass, sand, trails, dirt roads and the like are still less stressful than concrete and asphalt. When running on softer, natural surfaces always build up slowly and pay attention to the surface to minimize your risk of injury.
Another way to prevent injuries while walking and running is to wear running shoes that offer the correct support and cushioning depending on your foot type. Shoes absorb the shock of hitting the surface while running, and if you run or walk regularly, you will need to replace your shoes every 350-550 miles. Also eat well, stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, loads and loads of water to aid the recovery process as well as prevent any long term damage.
Supplements such as GoFlex are formulated to provide the nutritional building blocks necessary to support healthy joint function and help slow the progression of joint discomfort. Key ingredients in GoFlex that help to nourish and maintain joint health include Glucosamine Sulfate, Interhealth Collagen Type 2, and Hyal Joint—among a number of natural nutrients. This breakthrough product offers a totally new approach to joint nourishment, protection and health.
Check with your health practitioner before beginning any new routine and whether a health supplement like GoFlex is the right choice for you. Running is also a great way to stay in shape both physically and mentally. Enjoy yourself and make running a habit!