Our natural remedy for strong bones and joints combines a healthy daily routine with proper diet, an all-natural supplement, and time for rest and recuperation to make a well-rounded lifestyle. A natural remedy is all in the routine!
For strong bones and joints, a diet consisting of lots of fresh veggies and fruits is key. You need plenty of calcium, which can be found in foods such as broccoli, almonds, and kale. You also want Vitamin D, which can be found in cheeses, egg yolks, and fatty fishes. A glass of orange juice, or better yet, an actual orange, ensures you’re putting essential Vitamin C into your system. As much as possible, and of course always following recommendations from your doctor, try to build your daily diet around these vitamins while ensuring you’re getting plenty of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Morning: Slow stretches
Many of us feel tight or sore in the mornings. In order to prevent this stiffness from impeding the rest of the day, a simple morning stretching routine is an easy (and free!) process to implement. If your doctor has specific stretches for your situation, follow their recommendations. For those just getting started with stretching, these simple and slow stretches are a great place to start:
- Ankle and Foot stretch. This quick joint loosener can be done while seated. To begin, rotate your right foot in a counter-clockwise circle, slowly and always within a pain-free range. Cycle through a few times, and then switch move in the other direction. After you’ve moved through a few circles in each direction, repeat this stretch with the left foot. Two to three cycles through on each foot loosens the ankle joints and warms up your feet for continued movement throughout the day.
- Knee-To-Chest Stretch. This stretch is slightly more advanced than the first to, so don’t rush into it if you’re feeling tight. Begin by lying on your back with both knees bent and feet on the floor. Slowly pull your right knee in towards the chest with your hands — careful not to go any further than is comfortable and pain-free — and hold it there for up to 30 seconds — remember, always stretch within a pain free range. If you experience discomfort, slowly release the hold. Repeat this stretch with the left knee, and if you can, cycle through 3 times each morning.
Morning is also an ideal time to take a daily supplement. This can be added to your breakfast routine easily, making sure that you get the benefit of reduced joint pain and inflammation throughout the day. When considering adding a supplement to your diet, follow these three steps to help decide which is the best option for you:
- Be sure your supplement is made with all-natural ingredients. The goal is to build bone and joint health through a healthy lifestyle, and putting unneeded chemicals and preservatives into your body isn’t helping that process.
- Take a close look at the ingredient list. You want a supplement containing no more than a few ingredients, each with a specific purpose for being there. When it comes to bone and joint health, an Omega-3 supplement such as GLX3 is a strong option because each of the three ingredients — New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil, New Zealand Olive Oil, and Vitamin E Oil, is active in the healing process and aren’t masked by fillers.
- Ensure there are no negative side effects that may occur from the supplement. All-natural ingredients tend to minimize this risk.
In this age of technology and convenience, it’s easier than ever to lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, this is not conducive to healthy bones and joints. Being active consistently throughout the day keeps the blood flowing and the joints moving. After lunch, a quick walkabout is an easy — and surprisingly enjoyable — way to keep yourself loose, whether you’re in the middle of a workday or taking time out from running errands. Start small — a walk around the block or a small local park is perfect for getting yourself in the habit.
Aside from being good for you, you might be surprised at how many details you notice about an area when walking slowly through it instead of zipping by in a car! On a nice day, walking is a great way to get some Vitamin D from the sunshine, another positive benefit for your bones and joints.
Afternoon: Light strength training
One of the most effective ways to strengthen your bones and joints — and to keep them strong for the long-term — is to do regular exercise that uses muscles throughout the entire body. We noted earlier the negative impacts of a sedentary lifestyle, and this is as true for bones and joints as it is for muscles. Here are two simple strength training exercises you can implement to strengthen your bones and joints:
- Bicep squats. Holding light dumbells (3-5 lbs), stand in a balanced position on your mat with feet about shoulder-width apart. Slowly squat down, holding your arms (with the dumbells) by your side. Hold for a few seconds, and then return to standing.
- Kneeling push-ups. On an exercise or yoga mat, kneel down into a seated position. Perform a simple push-up while keeping your knees on the ground for added balance. Repeat 10-20 times, if comfortable.
Remember, always speak with your doctor before implementing a weight training routine, and remember to start small!