Warmer weather is here, and more people are “hitting” the pavement, hiking trails, and enjoying the fresh air with outdoor activities to get the body moving after a long winter inside. Unfortunately, some people might experience aches and pains that come with increased physical activity, so it’s essential to nurture and listen to the body, take it slow, and warm up/cool down appropriately to make sure the muscles, joints, and bones are ready for increased fitness levels. With May being the unofficial start to summer, it is also Arthritis Awareness Month. It is a perfect time to discuss joint health and the importance of taking care of the body through active and post-workout stretching, proper nutrition, and responsible supplementation with curcumin.
The Importance of Joint Health
It is expected that with age comes natural wear and tear on joints, making the joints feel stiffer and more uncomfortable. Maintaining healthy joints is vital for having an active and pain-free lifestyle but also for carrying on daily tasks such as going up and down stairs, opening jars, and walking the dog.
Let’s discuss the body’s anatomy and why well-maintained joints are essential. Joints are the connections between bones, and there is protective cartilage that cushions the area. The joints in the body are necessary for movement. Think of it as a hinge on a door.
The big joints are in our hips, knees, shoulders, ankles, and wrists, but the smaller ones are in our fingers and toes. When your joints are healthy, they can move easily without discomfort. But, when your joints are overworked or start to wear, it can lead to discomfort, including pain and stiffness. Overworked joints can limit your ability to move freely and participate in various activities, depending on the severity.
Other factors affecting joint health include age, injury, genetics, and lifestyle. Over time, and as we age, joints can become worn down, and the cartilage that pads the joints can wear away. However, there are steps you can take to help maintain and support joint health.
What’s Good for Joint Pain?
- Pre and Post-Workout Stretching
Stretching is a crucial component of joint health as it helps to improve flexibility, mobility and reduce the risk of injury. It should be part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. Aim to stretch for at least 10-15 minutes daily, focusing on the major joints such as your knees, hips, shoulders, and back, and the areas that tend to feel stiff.
During pre-workouts, think of stretching as more dynamic or fluid, not static, and do not hold the pose for too long. Think of it being more like slow-flow yoga, where you want to create space in that area of the body.
For post-workouts, hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds, static stretching, and avoid bouncing or jerking movements. No matter what—pre-or post-workout, stretching should feel comfortable and gentle, not painful. Always seek guidance from your doctor on what stretching exercises are best for you.
- Nutrition for Joint Health
Proper nutrition can also play a crucial role in joint health, as certain nutrients from foods can help support the structure and function of our joints. For example, omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish and nuts can help limit joint inflammation. In contrast, vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables can aid in producing collagen, a protein that supports joint health.
A healthy weight is also vital for joint health, as excess weight puts additional stress on our joints, leading to joint discomfort. Incorporating a balanced diet and regular exercise into your lifestyle can help promote joint health.
Joint Health Supplements
Another way to support healthy joints is with dietary supplements. Most people do not consume enough nutrients and vitamins through foods alone, so filling those nutritional gaps is vital.
One ingredient shown to support joint health is curcumin, the major bioactive component found in the roots of the turmeric plant. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it an effective supplement for joint health. However, the challenge to finding the right curcumin supplement is that curcumin has poor solubility and absorption. Many supplements contain large doses to overcome this, making the pills quite large and potentially unpleasant to swallow. This also leads to labels being very confusing to the average consumer. More isn’t always better!
How to Improve Joint Health with OmniActive
Fortunately, some ingredient manufacturers, such as OmniActive, have developed technologies to address these issues. Curcuwin Ultra+ is a highly bioavailable form of curcumin that has been clinically shown to support joint health and mobility at a low 250mg dose. It is made using proprietary Ultrasol Technology and certain bio-enhancers, which help protect and deliver more curcuminoids than standard 95% turmeric extract. For brands looking to formulate with Curcuwin Ultra+, contact us for more information or to request a sample.
Let this Arthritis Awareness Month be a reminder to take time to focus on your joint health with small actionable steps. These proactive measures can help you continue your favorite activities for years to come!