Joint pain is often seen as a fact of old age. However, joint pain in old age is by no means inevitable, and it is not a guaranteed product of old age. Some people can get joint pain in their teenage years. Other people will go their whole lives without it. Keeping joints supple in old age is partly a matter of luck, since it is about genetics to a certain extent. However, people do have some control over whether or not their joints are still going to be able to literally support them later in life. Keeping joints supple in old age will have countless benefits for the people who are trying to make sure that they’re able to do as much as they like later in life. Supple joints can allow people to become very healthy and active senior citizens, which is becoming more and more common today and which will help a lot of people feel as if they have lived their lives.
People need to exercise on a regular basis in order to keep their joints supple in old age. They’ll need high-impact aerobic exercise that really builds the bones, and they’ll need exercise that is going to really tone the muscles of their legs. People who run, power-walk, swim, bike, or do other forms of aerobic exercise are going to manage to keep their joints young and healthy for an extended period of time.
They’ll improve their bone density and strengthen the muscles surrounding their legs and their joints, thus allowing them to really maintain strong and healthy legs. Strength-training exercises of different kinds can make a big difference when it comes to long-term joint health. However, while these kinds of exercises are mainly going to keep the joints in line and promote flexibility, they’re only going to be able to do so much when it comes to actually strengthening a person’s leg muscles and bones.
However, it is important to avoid overexercising when it comes to joint health. Too much heavy running can damage a person’s joints over the long-term. Exercise that is too high-impact isn’t going to help people maintain their joints. Many professional athletes, who exercise more than all other people, will have terrible joint problems very early in life. Ballet dancers will have osteoporosis and arthritis in middle adulthood in many cases. Moderate regular exercise promotes supple joints in middle age and old age, not painfully demanding exercise.
People who want to be able to keep their joints supple into old age are going to need to make sure that they get enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D will help promote bone and muscular health. Usually, people can get all of the calcium and vitamin D that they need from supplements alone, so they don’t need to make tremendous dietary changes in order to make sure that they’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
However, getting enough dietary protein still matters when it comes to joint and bone health. Protein is actively used by the body to create new tissues and repair older tissues. The idea that all macro-nutrients are the same is wrong. People use carbohydrates for energy only, at least in most cases. However, they will use protein and fat for the sake of forming new tissues and cell membranes, along with a whole host of other important functions. These are the macro-nutrients that people are going to need in order to give their bodies the best possible chance of maintaining themselves over the long-term.
People also need to avoid eating too little throughout their lives. People who chronically diet are at an increased risk of osteoporosis and arthritis, even earlier in life. The eating disordered population is at a particularly high risk of problems like these, but people who diet too often are going to have similar problems. People should remember that lifestyle is still more important than sheer weight figures, and eating healthy is more important than eating sparingly. People need to develop a firm nutritional base early in life, and eating enough is part of that.
People also need to be careful to maintain reasonably healthy body sizes in both directions in order to keep their joints supple into old age. The health consequences associated with weight alone get exaggerated. Often times, it’s a person’s lifestyle that matters. An obese person with a healthy diet who exercises all the time is going to be healthier than a thin person who never exercises. In fact, if the obese person is not morbidly obese and the thin person is underweight, the obese person in question is probably going to have better joint health.
However, there is still some correlation between weight and health. Underweight people are at an increased risk of osteoporosis and joint problems. Morbidly obese people are more likely to suffer from joint problems, since the weight places too much strain against their joints. One reason why underweight people tend to get joint problems is the simple fact that they don’t develop the joint strength that they need, since their joints only have to support a minimal amount of weight. Morbidly obese people have the opposite problem in that their joints are just supporting more weight than they can handle.
People who are in the middle of those weight extremes will have the best odds, particularly people who are at the higher end of the ‘normal’ range or the lower end of the ‘overweight’ range. People who are slightly overweight may have the best joint health, assuming that they exercise, since they’re heavy enough to be able to strengthen their joints without placing too much pressure on them. Ultimately, of course, people should remember that lifestyle is more important than weight except at the extremes.
Few older people are underweight or morbidly obese: the people who live to a ripe old age are somewhere in the middle, and they usually have decades worth of healthy living to show for it. Many of them also have comparatively healthy joints.