Our joints take a lot of different types of pressure and strain everyday during our normal daily routines. While in the past joint replacement surgery was considered only a problem for older people, more and more surgeons are starting to see people now in their 40s, 50s or even younger. So what are we doing to our bodies that are causing this sudden damage to our joints? Calin Moucha, MD and chief of adult reconstruction and joint replacement surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital says that surgeons are attributing the rise to people wanting to stay active while they age. Here are three habits you can change to help keep your joints as healthy as possible.
- Cut Down on Running
Running is a very effective form of exercise that has many benefits, but if you’re an avid runner and don’t mix in other types of physical movement you may be causing unnecessary damage to your joints. The constant pounding, especially if you are running on hard surfaces like cement, can wear down your joints over time. We’re not suggesting giving up your running altogether but just mixing in other types of exercise, like swimming, to give your joints a rest day.
- Watch Your Weight
While staying in shape and at the healthiest weight for your body has several health benefits, one of the most significant benefits is that it will reduce the strain on your joints. The extra weight puts extra strain and stress on your body that is completely avoidable and could significantly help keep your joints healthy as you age.
- Don’t Forget to Stretch
According to Moucha the key to joint health is achieving a good balance between strength and flexibility. She says that this is because as you get older you need to spend as much time, if not more, stretching rather than strengthening. Having flexible muscles helps to keep your joint mobile especially as you get older and you become more and more inflexible.