Summertime is meant to be filled with activity, but if your joints are bothering you, it can be no fun. We consulted America's Joint Health Expert, Jason Theodosakis, M.D., also known as Dr. Theo to find out his top tips for staying active:
Tip 1: Get Going
Contrary to popular belief, even if you're not feeling your best, it's still important to keep moving. Physical activity is the best way to keep joints healthy. Staying sedentary actually causes more problems because it can cause muscles and joints to atrophy, or weaken.
Fortunately, summer offers many activities to keep you active. I recommend activities that are easy on the joints like water aerobics, walking, biking and yoga. Physical activity builds up your strength, which helps with shock absorption and helps to prevent injury. Even 10 minutes a day can make a difference. And the bonus is feeling and looking better.
Tip 2: Fill up on Fruit
Not only does fruit taste good on a warm summer afternoon, it also delivers superior health benefits. Fruits that are rich in color contain antioxidants, which can help fight free radical damage. Antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium. An easy way to remember these antioxidants is the acronym ACES. Apricots, cantaloupe, mangoes, papaya and peaches all contain at least one of these vitamins and are some of my favorite fruits.
Tip 3: Lube Your Joints
If your car doesn't have oil, it won't work properly. It's the same with your joints. As we age, wear and tear on the joints can cause cartilage deterioration. Food and exercise help slow or prevent deterioration, but for some, they're not enough.
I recommend two natural supplements-glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine is nature's basic building block for maintaining joint cartilage, and helps to maintain the structural integrity of the connective tissues of your joints. I recommend people choose products containing at least 1,500 mg of glucosamine. Chondroitin helps maintain the natural lubricating fluid in joints and cartilage. It's best to choose products that contain 800 mg of chondroitin.
Remember, with just a little effort you can stay moving all summer long and for years to come.