Joint discomfort may initially seem temporary—something you think will go away as time passes. Unfortunately, if left neglected, most people gradually experience an increase in discomfort with time. Why? There are many reasons. The most obvious, is age. Like it or not, our bodies degenerate as we age. Cartilage that protects bones from rubbing against each other becomes thin and frayed. The production of synovial fluid which cushions the joints and acts as shock absorber begins to decline. There are other factors that contribute to the wear-and-tear in joints, such as being overweight, a previous joint injury or diet and heredity factors.

But just because you age doesn’t mean you are destined to joint pain—there are ways to take care of your joints so that they age healthily. Healthy aging requires the right diet and the right exercise to help keep your joints strong and flexible.

Caring for Joints: The Right Diet

One of the most important aspects of joint health is maintaining a healthy weight. Neglecting your weight could lead to many weight-related consequences, including poor joint health.

To maintain a healthy diet, include more fruits and vegetables in your diet while curtailing saturated fats and sugars. There are specific foods that are known to nutritionally protect joints and keep them functioning optimally. These are:

  • Apples and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Apples and grapes contain boron, a mineral which is useful for joint health. Antioxidants play an active role in cellular health, where all degeneration begins. Avocadoes, blueberries, broccoli, cruciferous vegetables, cantaloupes, citrus fruits, and mulberries, are antioxidant rich and contain Vitamin C and beta carotenes.
  • Grape seeds are known to support healthy blood circulation, help suppot your bodies anti-inflammatory response and support healthy collagen.
  • Green lipid mussels are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which helps your body to keep joints lubricated. They help protect cartilage and maintain flexibility. Extracts of green lipid mussels are available as joint supplements.
  • Shellfish contains high levels of glucosamine sulfate. Glucosamine sulfate is found naturally in high concentration in our joints. It is believed to support the growth and repair of cartilage. As we grow older, our bodies gradually lose the ability to produce adequate glucosamine. A good level of research indicates that including glucosamine sulfate in the diet either through fresh foods or supplements, benefits cartilage.
  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) found in all kinds of fish, meats, milk, raw fruits and vegetables. It is organic or biological sulfur—one of the five essential elements of life. It is an intrinsic element important to many biological functions of the body. In joint health, it is a basic component for the building connective tissue. Simply put, cartilage cannot be repaired without the presence of sulfur.
  • Healthy joints require strong muscles and bones. If you are not getting adequate calcium, Vitamin D and magnesium from your diet you may want to consider supplementation.

Caring for Joints: The Right Exercise

It is important to complement a nutritionally supportive diet for joint health with the right kind of exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to a weakening of the muscles that support your joints. When muscles are weak, joints are taxed which can results in joint discomfort, soreness or tenderness.

The ideal exercise regimen for joint health would include alternating low impact exercises (swimming, bike riding, walking) on one day with weight training the next day. End each exercise time with stretching and relaxation exercises. Your exercise routine should avoid high impact activities which put more stress on joints.

A good exercise to strengthen your knee muscles as you sit: Slowly lift one leg so that it is horizontal to the ground and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat ten times with each leg.

To avoid stiffness of joints, get into the habit of stretching your muscles at regular intervals during the day. Good posture is important when walking, sitting or bending to eliminate undue pressure on joints.

The right diet and exercise can keep you active to enjoy an independent lifestyle well into the golden years of life. In some cases it can even help delay and / or reverse some of the degeneration that has taken place in the joint. Proactive measures for joint care should also include a nutritional joint supplement, like GoFlex, which contains green lipid mussels, glucosamine sulfate, MSM and other nutrients and herbs that support healthy joint functions. The quicker you take joint health seriously today through diet, exercise and supplements, the more you are investing in joint health for tomorrow

Author's Bio: 

GoFlex is a scientifically-based, physician-approved joint health supplement containing herbal and natural nutrients that specifically support vital joint functions for maintaining mobility and flexibility. GoFlex includes a joint health supplement and joint pain relief cream containing an Food and Drug Association-approved ingredient for fast-acting joint pain relief.