There is no worse pain than being injured. The prospect of missing out on the joy of sports and games should be reason enough for you to take extra care that even if you get hurt by chance, your recovery is complete before you resume stressful activities. However, as the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure!
It is an unfortunate fact that a majority of injuries affect the crucial parts of our body that let us carry out such a wide range of movements – our joints! Taking care of your joints involves very sensible and practical inclusions in your everyday routine. The added benefits of having supple joints are fewer visits to the doctor, less anxiety while training and playing, and freedom from the application of sprays and painkillers.
Boltt brings you ways to keep your body injury-free and mind tension-less!
- Train yourself to develop more strength in your joints with the right exercises and exertion. Use the stairs when you can, and you will find your knees becoming increasingly stronger every day. There are many advantages of doing pull-ups and push-ups, simply because they cause the shoulders and elbows to strain themselves in natural movements, thus saving you from painful experiences when you go out to play your favourite sport the next time.
- Joints are not all bone, which means they require proper upkeep. There is no point in yanking them around, bending them or flexing beyond their limits. Lift too much weight, for example, and you may be left with a lot more than undone chores! The limits you set for your training should confirm to the threshold your joints tolerate. As soon as you feel pain or undue stress on any joint, stop! The more you understand how your joints respond to exercise, the more you can gain from working out.
- Don’t get stuck in a rut. Expand the range of motions beyond the routine you follow, by indulging in sports, games and activities that are not generally a part of your workout or sporting schedule. This is important since it avoids repetitive motion and allows your joints to increase their flexibility. Go for tai chi, yoga and other off-beat exercises to limber up.
- Make food your doctor, as Hippocrates purportedly said, so that your doctor doesn’t have to see you for ages! Steer clear of consuming too much processed food, grain carbs, sugar, focus instead on using olive oil as cooking medium and omega-3 foods like herring, salmon, walnuts, flaxseed et al. Vitamin C from citrus fruits are anti-inflammatory, along with spices such as ginger and turmeric. Never skimp on awesome root vegetables, onions, kale, leeks, blueberries and red and black grapes.
- Shape your body. Your joints function best when they do not have to deal with an off-centre beer belly or a slouching neck. Losing the extra fat is not as hard as people can make it out to be, especially because of the dreaded d-word. Boltt’s advice: don’t diet! Just select those foods you like which have health benefits, while gradually reducing artificial and over-processed items.
- Hydration is paramount when you realise how much of your body is made up of it and run by its presence. Joints are lubricated to allow bones and muscles to work together smoothly, so keep up the levels of your bodily fluids with a range of juices and solutions. Never let your body run low on water when competing in sports or running – if you want inspiration, watch how top athletes make it an unmissable routine to sip fluids.
- De-stress yourself with some meditation, a walk in nature, or listening to music. Many afflictions are simply caused by the stress of modern life, and your body may involuntarily be subjecting itself to chronic pain. Try and remove yourself from tension-causing environs for some time so that you can relax your body and ease up the pressure on your joints.