A joint is the part of the body where two or more bones meet to allow movement. They are held together, supported and cushioned by connective tissue called cartilage and ligaments. As the bones move against one another, smooth cartilage prevents friction.
However, just as the tread on your tires wears away over time, the cartilage can break down, too. And without enough padding, the bones will hurt when they rub against each other at the joints. This discomfort, ache or soreness experienced in joints due to breakdown of the cartilage is called osteoarthritis.
Tips to keep your joints healthy
Frayed cartilage can’t heal or grow back. However, you can always protect the cartilage and safeguard your joints. To maintain or improve your joint health, exercise is key. But what else can you do?
Here are a few tips for safeguarding your joints — and the cartilage that supports them.
Stay physically active
The body is supposed to move; our joints allow for movement. Movement eases joint stiffness, reduces joint pain, strengthens the muscles which surround the joints, and helps us maintain a healthy weight.
Keep a check on your body weight
We must maintain our ideal body weight for a lot many reasons including healthy joints. Carrying excess body weight adds stress to our joints, especially the weight-bearing joints. Weight loss can significantly reduce knee pain and joint stiffness.
Give muscle support to your joints
Strong muscles support your joints. If you don’t have enough muscle, your joints take a pounding, especially your spine, hips, and knees, which must support your entire body weight. Weight training exercises help build muscle and keep your muscles and surrounding ligaments strong. That way, your joints don’t have to do all the work.
A certified fitness trainer can show you the best exercises for healthy joints and how to do them correctly.
Take care of your nutrition
For strong bones, it is vital to take in enough calcium and vitamin D every day. Additionally, your muscles need protein too. If you think your body is not meeting your requirements, consider supplements.
Give importance to the posture
To protect your joints from your neck down to your knees, always stand and sit up straight. When walking, make sure your shoulders are back and your spine is straight. If you work at a desk, take a break every hour to stretch and readjust your posture.
Pay attention to body pains
Over time, a certain amount of wear and tear on your joints is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to affect the way your body feels, functions or moves. If you experience a clicking or popping sensation in the joint when you walk, bend or lunge, but there’s no pain or swelling, you don’t need to worry about it. However, if you have pain or swelling with that clicking or popping, it’s best to schedule a visit to your doctor.
Otherwise, follow these steps to protect these essential joints to minimize your risk of experiencing pain, stiffness, and inflammation in your knees.
If you are experiencing pain or stiffness in your joints, talk to our fitness expert at 8 Fitness Tips.
There is a well-established relationship between good health and good nutrition. The impact of nutrition sporting performance itself has become a subject of study. Whether you are a competing athlete, a hobby sports player or a religious exerciser, the foundation to improve your performance is a nutritionally rich diet.
You are more likely to feel tired and perform poorly when you do not get enough calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fluids, iron, vitamins, and other minerals. Eating a nutrition-rich diet can help provide the energy you need to finish a race, or just enjoy a casual sport or activity.
Good Diet for Athletes
When we talk about the nutrient requirements for athletes, the quality of nutrients consumed is equally important as the quantity of nutrients. In that case, fats, proteins and carbohydrates and all the other micronutrients need to be high quality.
Besides, the basic training diet should be sufficient to meet the demands of training and exercise and enhance adaptation and recovery between training sessions. This diet has to be tailored considering an athlete’s body weight and composition, training duration and the type of sport they play.
Diet Requirement of Athletes
Athletes who exercise vigorously may need to increase their carbohydrates intake to meet their energy requirements. Carbohydrates act as a key energy source during exercise and fuel exercising muscle tissue and other body systems.
If carbohydrate in the diet is restricted, a person’s ability to exercise is compromised. This can also result in a loss of protein (muscle) tissue, since the body may start to break down muscle tissue to meet its energy needs.
Protein plays a key role in post-exercise recovery and repair and therefore is an important part of a training diet. Protein needs are generally met by following a high-carbohydrate diet because many foods are a combination of carbohydrates and protein.
Water is another most important, yet undervalued, nutrient for all including athletes. The body can lose several litres of sweat in an hour of vigorous exercise. Water and other fluids help to keep the body hydrated and at the right temperature.
Ensure consuming a good amount of water and other fluids throughout the day, whether or not you will be exercising.
Vitamins and Minerals
Athletes should ensure to consume the essential vitamins and minerals they need to support their general health and sports performance. The body requirement of vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients is usually achieved by consuming a varied, balanced diet. Some may choose to take supplements to meet the requirements.
If you are considering nutritional supplements to improve your athletic performance, talk to 8 Fitness Tip’s professional nutritionists today!
Besides the right nutrition, the timing of meals and snacks also plays an important role in an athlete’s performance. The timing and content of meals can help support training needs, reduce fatigue, and help optimize body composition. These may vary depending on the type of athlete.
Nutrition According to the Sport Type
Athletes have different nutritional requirements depending on which sport they are in. They may need to consult a sports nutritionist, or a registered dietitian, to ensure they consume the right diet and maintain ideal body weight for optimal performance and recovery. Plan a timing strategy that suits your body, sport, and schedule.
Plan a diet that is right for your needs. Talk to our professional nutritionists at 8 Fitness Tips.
What are Hormones?
A hormone is a substance that influences growth and development. These substances act as chemical messengers responsible for functions like metabolism, reproduction, and mood in the human body. These messengers control appetite, weight and mood, among other things and thus they strongly affect mental, physical and emotional health.
Understanding Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones are produced by endocrine glands including the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal and pancreas. These glands produce different hormones for different bodily functions. Any minor changes in the production of any of these hormones can cause major imbalances in cells or even the entire body function. Therefore, it is important to keep the hormones balanced.
However, age affects the production of certain hormones. Besides, medications, lifestyle habits, poor diet and nutrition and environmental changes can also cause hormonal imbalance.
Fortunately, a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle can help in keeping your hormonal health in check. Here is how you can keep your hormones balanced with the right diet and lifestyle.
Treating Hormonal Imbalance with Nutrition
Protein influences the release of hormones that control appetite and food intake. Eating protein-rich food stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full.
Healthy fats trigger the release of hormones that help you feel full and satisfied. On the contrary, trans fats can promote insulin resistance and increase the storage of belly fat. To optimize hormone health, consume a healthy fat source at each meal.
Soluble fibre is an important component of a healthy diet. Eating fibre-rich food protects against insulin resistance and overeating. It can also help in increasing insulin sensitivity and stimulates the production of hormones that make you feel full and satisfied. Although soluble fibre tends to produce the strongest effects on appetite and eating, insoluble fibre can also prove to be equally helpful.
Avoid Refined Carbs
Sugar and refined carbs have been linked to many health problems. Avoiding or minimizing these foods may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function.
Treating Hormonal Imbalance with Lifestyle Changes
Avoid Overeating and Undereating
Over or under eating may also result in hormonal changes which may, in turn, lead to weight-related problems. While overeating can increase insulin hormone levels and reduce insulin sensitivity, cutting down on calories can increase the stress hormone cortisol levels.
It is important to consume enough calories which can help you maintain hormonal balance and a healthy weight.
Physical activity can strongly influence hormonal health. Exercising can reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Besides, physical activity can boost levels of muscle-maintaining hormones and growth hormones.
Poor sleep has been linked to hormonal imbalances including insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin and growth hormone. Despite a nutritious diet and optimum exercise, not getting enough sleep can disbalance your hormonal health.
As mentioned earlier, hormones are involved in every aspect of health – physical, mental and emotional. And, we need a very specific amount of these chemicals in our body for its optimum functioning.
Although certain factors are beyond control to maintain a healthy hormonal balance, we can still keep the production of these chemicals in check by following the above-mentioned ways. Consuming nutritious foods, exercising regularly and engaging in other healthy behaviours goes a long way toward improving your hormonal health.