Working out is great for your health and well being. The right exercises can contribute to healthy joints, bones and immune systems. However, when it comes to your joints, they can take a lot of stress and strain, especially with repetitive exercise like running. So here’s what to keep an eye out for as well as what you can do about it...
Signs You Need To Make A Change
If you experience any of the following after a workout, then it is a red flag that you might need to start taking more care with your joints.
- Pain, swelling, or stiffness during or after exercise
- Reduced range of motion
- Redness around your joints
- Grating feelings inside your joints.
- Joints feel hot to the touch
If your joints are working well and aren’t giving you any pain, then you will want to keep it that way. So here are some easy actions you can take to make sure that your joints stay healthy for as long as possible.
Use Proper Form - Whenever you are doing work in the gym to build muscle, whether it’s with free weights machines or bodyweight, you must pay attention to your form. Poor technique is one of the leading causes of injury in the gym.
This is especially true for any big compound lifting motions, like a clean and press, weighted squats and deadlifts especially. The mirrors in the gym are there to help you watch your form, so put them to good use. If you're unsure about your form on an exercise, ask for help.
Don’t Go Too Hard Or Too Heavy - When you are aiming to build muscle, it is easy to try and push yourself to do, just a little bit more. However, you have got to be aware of your limits. If you try to lift too big a weight or to push through the pain, then you are setting yourself up for an injury.
With every injury you get, you are increasing your risk for long term joint pain and arthritis later on. You need to check your ego at the door and remember that you won’t make progress by pushing too hard. Oh, and warm up, before any lifts.
Eat Right - Getting the right fuel into your body will ensure that you have all the nutrients your body needs to maintain itself. If you struggle to get everything you need in your diet every day, then supplements can be a good option. Udo’s oil is an excellent choice for joint care as it contains Omegas 3, 6, and 9. All of these play important roles in your overall health as well as keeping your joints lubricated and performing at their peak.
Rest and Recover - Rest days are essential. Giving your body a chance to heal between workouts will put you in a better place to improve as well as protecting the long term health of your joints.
If you are experiencing joint pain, then it is worth seeking the help of a doctor, physiotherapist or osteopath. They can help identify the cause of your issues and give you guidance on anything you might need to avoid. If you don’t feel ready to speak to a doctor, or you want more things to try here are some excellent options.
Rest - First of all, give your joints a chance to recover. Take some time off from exercise. Stay mobile but don’t push it for a couple of weeks. This will give your body a chance to repair itself.
Exercise With Care - Once you have given your body time to recover, you get back to exercise. In the long run, building muscle will help to protect your joints and can relieve joint pain. However, you need to take it easy, to begin with. Start working with lighter weights than usual and slowly build up.
You also need to listen to your body. There is a difference between good pain and bad pain. Good pain is when you are pushing your muscles, and you’ll be a little sore after. This usually feels like a burning sensation. Bad pain is an indicator that you are doing damage and should stop. This pain is more likely to be sharp, sudden and intense.
Joint Supplements - There are many different supplements you can take for joint health. The right one for you might depend on the cause of your joint pain, which is why it is a good idea to talk to a doctor. Some of your options include;
Omegas 3, 6, and 9 - These are found in supplements like Udo’s Oil. They are a good all-round choice for general joint health.
Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASUs) - There is some evidence to suggest that these can reduce the breakdown of cartilage in joints.
Turmeric - Turmeric is a popular choice at the moment and has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties.