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How to Keep Joints Healthy as You Age

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A senior couple wearing aprons and preparing a salad on a kitchen island filled with colorful vegetables

Joints are an essential part of our body, as they allow us to move freely, maintain good posture, and keep our balance. However, as we age, our joints may start to deteriorate, leading to stiffness, pain, and reduced mobility. 

There are several proactive measures you can take to help your joints to remain strong and flexible as you age, including: 

  • Staying active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Protecting your joints when exercising
  • Eating joint-healthy foods
  • Staying hydrated

While we cannot reverse the aging process, we can take several steps to protect and keep our joints healthy. Cardinal View Senior Living offers a variety of services and programs to help our residents preserve their overall health, including joint health.

Stay Active

Regular exercise is vital to maintaining healthy joints. It helps keep the muscles and bones strong and flexible, which can help prevent joint-related diseases such as arthritis. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and yoga are excellent choices for older adults. Seniors should consult their doctors before starting any new exercise regimen.

Every week, older adults are encouraged to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week, such as brisk walking. This amounts to around 30 minutes every day. 

Alternatively, older adults should get 1 hour and 15 minutes of intense activity per week, such as running or jogging. Strength training is recommended at least twice a week. Balance and flexibility exercises can be beneficial every day, especially since balance can become more challenging with age.

Maintain Healthy Weight

Excess weight can put a lot of pressure on your joints, particularly the knees and hips. Losing weight can help reduce the risk of joint problems and relieve joint pain. 

Simple lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, getting physically active regularly, avoiding processed foods, and reducing sugar and salt intake can help you maintain a healthy weight. Consult with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist to create a personalized plan that suits your needs.

Protect Your Joints

Joint injuries can worsen arthritis and other joint-related diseases. Therefore, it’s essential to protect your joints from injury. 

Exercise safety is crucial. When engaging in physical activities, wear the right gear and use proper technique. For instance, you may need to use knee pads, wrist guards, and specific footwear, depending on the activity you’re doing.

Prioritize Joint-Friendly Exercises

Include exercises that focus on joint mobility and flexibility in your routine. Stretching and range-of-motion exercises can help maintain or improve joint function. Yoga and tai chi are excellent choices for promoting flexibility and balance.

Incorporate Joint-Healthy Foods

Adding foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin C, and magnesium can help protect against joint damage and inflammation. Some examples of these foods include salmon, soybeans, tuna, walnuts, spinach, leafy greens, and oranges. 

It’s also advisable to reduce or eliminate processed, fried, and sugary foods, as they can cause inflammation and contribute to joint problems.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining healthy joints. It helps lubricate the joints and keeps the cartilage healthy. Water also helps remove toxins from the body, which can reduce inflammation and joint pain. 

There’s lots of conflicting information on how much water you should drink per day, but as a rule of thumb, drink when you’re thirsty and aim for at least 4–6 glasses of water daily to keep your joints healthy. If you’re highly active, drink more.

Quit Smoking

Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of developing joint problems and can exacerbate existing conditions. Quitting smoking not only benefits your overall health but can also contribute to better joint health.

Get Adequate Sleep

Quality sleep is crucial for the body’s repair and maintenance processes, including joint health. Ensure you get enough restful sleep each night to allow your body to recover and rejuvenate.

A group of seniors exercising with dumbbells

Stay Healthy & Strong

There are so many things you can do to preserve your joint health and overall wellness as you age. However, if you experience persistent joint pain or stiffness, it’s essential to speak to your doctor. By taking care of your joints and being aware of potential underlying issues, you can live a more relaxed, pain-free, and active lifestyle.

It’s never too late to start caring for your joints, and small, consistent efforts can make a significant difference in maintaining joint health throughout the aging process. Get in touch and book a tour with Cardinal View Senior Living to learn how we can help you maintain your overall health as you age.

Written by Lifespark

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