WITH the New Year almost upon us, many of us are busy assessing the areas of life that we want to improve upon.
Fitness resolutions are some of the most common self-improvement goals that people work toward and if you’re a coach potato who’s resolving to up your exercise in 2014, it’s important to take measures to protect your joints.
Tackling any fitness challenge requires strength, stability and nimble footwork.
Sudden, jolting movements can push your joints to the limit, and the odd niggle in your knees could soon stop you in your tracks if you don’t take measures to protect yourself.
Choreographer, fitness enthusiast and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips shares her top tips to help keep joints healthy and avoid injury this coming year:
Tip 1. Start your day with a stretch
Every morning try to give your body a good stretch. It doesn’t have to take long but a few minutes manipulating the joints you use the most – such as your back, knees, hips and elbows – will warm them up for the day ahead and help protect against injury.
Tip 2. Sit up!
If you spend a long time sitting at a desk, it’s important to check the height of your chair. Too low and it will put pressure on your knees and hips as you bend to get in and out of it.
However, if it’s too high it will cause your back and neck to ache as you hunch over to write or type. Ideally, you should be able to sit on your chair with your legs firmly on the ground, your back straight and the computer screen at eye level.
Tip 3. Supplement your diet
Consider taking a natural joint pain supplement that is backed by extensive clinical evidence. A supplement which has shown a lot of promise in recent years is GOPO® Joint Health.
It’s the only rose-hip derived supplement to be supported by numerous published studies and is proven to effectively reduce pain in difficult-to-treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Tip 4. Practice perfect posture
Standing up straight allows your muscles and skeletal system to work together and puts less everyday strain on your joints.
The best way to achieve this is to pretend that there is a string attached to the centre of your head holding you up.
There should be an invisible line that passes through your shoulders, hips and knees. Try practicing in front of a mirror or get someone to check you are standing up as straight as possible without any slouching.
Tip 5. Get the right balance
While it’s important not to put too much strain on your joints, long periods of immobility can be just as damaging.
Remember to take time throughout the day to move around and keep your joints feeling limber and mobile.
If you’re constantly on the move, take time to stretch and rest from time to time to allow your joints to recover.