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.
When trying to lose weight, you likely have some type of goal in mind. Figuring out how much weight you want to lose is the first step on a new weight loss journey.
There are many different ways to come up with a long-term goal that’s both realistic and aspirational. Setting your sights on the future can help fuel the motivation needed to make healthy changes.
Here’s how to get started.
Set realistic goals
Set specific short-term goals to maintain motivation. If you’ve got a nebulous goal, then your efforts seem like an endless mission.
Also, do not set a specific weight goal tied to the scale. That’s because your weight is affected by lots of variables, including how much muscle you have, how much fluid you’re retaining and how depleted your carbohydrate stores are.
Set a sensible timeline
Losing half to one kg per week is a realistic expectation. You can lose a lot of scale weight fast with a crash diet. But that’s not fat loss, and it’s not permanent.
It’s also important to consider you may gain muscle while losing fat. It’s important to look at weight trends over time, and focus on comparing average weights over several months rather than across days or weeks.
Measure your progress continuously
Aside from scale weight, it’s important to have other ways to see if you’re getting closer to your goals. Don’t go off-scale weight so much as body fat percentage. If you don’t have access to a body fat scanner, using the fit of your clothes and taking tape measurements can be good fat-loss indicators.
Think beyond weight loss
Setting non-weight loss goals may also help speed your progress. People who have health-related goals tend to succeed faster than those who have aesthetic-related goals.
There are always exceptions, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but it’s easier to maintain motivation long term when your health is on the line.
That’s one of the reasons there should be multiple goals when trying to lose fat. If you’re only focused on the number on the scale, you’ll miss out on all the other benefits of exercise and healthy eating.
Additional weight loss goals to consider
- Improving sleep
- Improving posture
- Increasing strength
- Reducing blood pressure
- Building better confidence and self-esteem
Considering what you can maintain long term is also an important part of setting a realistic weight-loss goal. For most people, the notion of losing weight is daunting. It’s also largely something many of us have considered but not been able to sustain, for a variety of reasons.
Approaching weight loss from a more comprehensive perspective enables you to get in tune with the aspects that have contributed to weight gain in the first place.
Changing your diet will always be a great step in the right direction but to truly optimize well-being, attention needs to be given to other areas, too.
Losing weight is one of the most common health goals. However, without the right guidance it can also become the most difficult to achieve goal.
The ever-changing diet trends which people tend to follow without understanding the technicalities behind them, tend to do more harm than any good to your body.
However, whichever method of weight loss program you follow, there are some basic does and don’ts which you need to understand in order to make your weight loss program to be effective.
Quick fixes never works
Quick weight loss may sound tempting, but it can be unhealthy in the long-term. The goal should be healthier, safer, and longer-lasting weight loss which takes its own time. Take a proper diet and do regular exercise to give your body the natural time to change for better.
Consume complex carbs
Carbohydrates, being the source of energy, affects your physical and mental performance. Therefore, it is always advisable to load up on carbohydrates before rigorous workouts or physical activity.
However, simple carbohydrates can disrupt your metabolism of fat increasing the fat content in your body. Therefore it is important to eat complex carbohydrates.
Take enough protein
The food for muscle building, protein is responsible for repair, maintenance and growth of muscle cells. Besides, the amino acids in proteins form enzymes required for smooth running of your body.
Consume unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats
Unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lowers the cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease. Besides foods that have higher content of saturated fats are also high in essential fatty acids which is beneficial for the human body.
Avoid processed foods
When natural food items are processed or refined, they lose much of the fibre and nutrients in the process. Moreover, some processed foods can actually harm the body. That is the reason, it is advised to take complex carbohydrates since they do not rush through your system and overwhelm it.
Manage salt intake
Salt is an essential mineral; if we do not get enough of it, our health and athletic performance will be affected. However, if we consume too much of it, our health will also be damaged.
Besides causing serious health problems such as high blood pressure, taking too much salt will also upset our bodies’ water balance, which can slow us down.
As most of our diets are already too high in salt, we need to cut back on seasoning our food and on our consumption of packaged (canned or preserved) food.
Avoid junk food
Fast food often contains too much sugar, saturated fats, cholesterol and salt. Most fast-food products have very little to offer in terms of complex carbohydrates, protein, fibre, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Do we need more reasons to avoid them?
It is all about changing your habits so you can reach your best body in terms of health, first, and then looks. It goes without saying that there are many different healthy body types out there. So, stop comparing yourself and just learn what works best for you and how to take care of YOUR body!
When you begin your weight loss journey, the first thing that you do is to note your weight since this is the benchmark that you keep to mark your progress.
However, when you start exercising for weight loss, you burn calories, lose fat and build muscle. Ironically, a kg of muscle weighs the same as a kg of fat.
So, how do you measure?
It is important to understand that both fat and muscle are necessary for a healthy body. So in the case of fat vs. muscle there can be no clear winner. It is the balance of the two that really matters.
Technically fat has a greater volume whereas the muscle fibres have a greater density. This means, a kg of muscle takes up less space and looks smaller than a kg of fat. So you may see differences in your body composition, strength and energy, but not on the number on the scale.
Also, fats cannot be converted into muscles. Muscles grow when you put them to work. No exercise, no muscle. On the contrary, they will decrease in size, slowing your metabolism and increasing your fats.
Muscle boosts your metabolism and is therefore important for your body and overall fitness. They burn more calories even while at rest. So, if you have more muscles, you will burn more calories and eventually not accumulate extra fats.
Muscle surrounds the bones and works to strengthen them and reduce the risk of bone injuries.
Another benefit of developing muscles is an improvement in your core strength and balance.
Muscles improve your blood circulation, digestive health and the overall health of all your organs by being continuously engaged in calorie burning activity.
When you understand the difference between muscle mass and fats and work towards balancing the both, what you achieve is a better body definition.
It is only possible when you follow the two-dimensional process of weight loss and fitness – right diet and right physical exercise.
So, follow the diet that is right for you, do regular exercise and focus on overall fitness rather than just the scale.
Article at a Glance:
- What is Body Transformation Challenge?
- Tips for Transformation Challenge
Setting a transformation challenge is a great way to overcome your inactive lifestyle or breathe new life into your fitness regime.
They motivate you to set commitment for yourself by giving a definitive purpose. They help you focus your efforts on your achievable goal.
Body Transformation Challenge is a fantastic way to develop healthy habits which is the most basic requirement for building a stronger and healthier body.
What is Body Transformation Challenge?
Body Transformation Challenge is a commitment you do to yourself to achieve a certain fitness or health goal by tweaking your lifestyle over a set period. You need to set small-term and long-term goals and keep measuring your progress to ensure you are on the right track throughout your journey.
Let’s take an example:
Your goal is to lose excess weight and become fitter.
This is how your Body Transformation Challenge will look like:
I intend to shed 5 kg of my body fat over the next 30 days to achieve the target weight of 50 kg.
For this, I will take in 1200 calories per day and do 3 interval training workouts per week.
To measure my progress, I will record my body fat percentage and body weight every three days.
Tips for Transformation Challenge
When setting up your challenge, there are some key things that you need to consider.
Keep it Achievable
A too difficult challenge can leave you frustrated and you may feel like giving up. Similarly, too easy will not be a real challenge at all.
Here is what 8 Fitness Tips’ experts recommend to help you set realistic goals for weight loss and muscle building challenge.
- Weight loss goal of 0.5 – 1 kg of fat per week
- Muscle building goal of 0.5 lbs muscle per week
Make it Measurable
Transformation Challenges remove uncertainty and keep you focused. Therefore these challenges are so effective. Avoid unclear challenges and keep tracking your progress to stay motivated.
Here are some metrics suggested that you can keep a record of:
- Body Weight
- Body Fat Percentage
- Lean Body Mass
- Body Measurements such as chest, waist, thigh etc.
These metrics are easily measurable and excellent progress indicators. For better motivation, you can combine these metrics with progress pictures for comprehensive and insightful records.
Give Yourself Some Time
The “time” factor is determined by the challenge that you give to yourself. Aim for a longer duration to measure effective progress and shorter duration to stay motivated without getting bored.
As per our expert recommendation, 30 days is a good length of time to see results for most challenges.
Make a planner
Plan your activities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and don’t leave anything to chance. Create a fitness planner that marks your workouts and records other milestones. Set reminders to record these milestones so that you don’t miss your track.
Review your progress
Set-up regular review points where you look at progress and reflect on any changes in your body. We recommend you to review every 5 days for a better reflection of your progress. This will ensure that you don’t find any surprises at the end of your challenge.
This also helps in finding out what is working for you and what’s not! And you can tweak your plan and steer your activity during the challenge.
Stay Social with your Challenge
Your Body Transformation Challenge should not be your solo mission.
8 Fitness Tips’ Body Transformation experts can help you with setting up your goal, track your progress and win your challenge!
If you are convinced that body transformation challenges are powerful drivers for change. We will make it easy to set up, help to keep you focused and accountable and achieve it stipulated time.
Why not try one over the next 30 days and let help you to get on!