Stay active, strong and enjoy life: Tips for strong joints, bones and muscles

Published February 15, 2022

What do you do to escape the stresses of the everyday? Bushwalking, playing golf or working in the garden? Looking after your joint, muscle and bone health will ensure you have the physical fitness and freedom to keep doing the activities you love and live life to the full.

Looking after your joints

Your body has different types of joints; some joints move freely, others don’t. Your joints are grouped by their function or by the kind of connective tissue they contain. Your main functional joints work hard to prevent friction between your bones as you move your body. Over time the cartilage in these joints can become damaged or too thin, especially if the joint has experienced long-standing stress, such as an injury or excessive body weight. This reduction in cartilage puts increased pressure on your bones, leading to swelling, mild pain, and stiffness of the joint.

Protecting your joints as you age doesn’t have to be difficult. There are several diet and lifestyle tips you can start today to keep your joints healthy:

Healthy weight and joint health

Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the stress on your joints, helping them stay strong and healthy.

Exercise for your joints

Exercise may be beneficial for joint health. Exercise for a minimum of 150 minutes per week is a popular recommendation to maintain a healthy weight and support joints.  Weight-bearing exercise promotes joint health, physical function and quality of life.

Glucosamine and joints

Glucosamine is a natural compound found in the body, with a high concentration in joints. Glucosamine has been shown to support joint mobility and reduce mild joint stiffness in mild osteoarthritis.

Celery seeds for mild rheumatic aches and pains

Celery seeds have been used in traditional Western medicine to reduce mild rheumatic  aches and pains.

Curcumin

The herb curcumin has been used in traditional Western herbal medicine to relieve mild joint pain and inflammation associated with mild osteoarthritis, helping you alleviate mild stiffness  in the joints.

Strong muscles — the key to longevity

Muscles can change as you age; these changes can include loss of muscle mass, strength and function. For example, muscle mass decreases by 3-8% per decade after the age of thirty, with the rate of decline increasing after sixty. Helping prevent loss of muscle mass protects you from falls, injury and illness as you age. Maintaining muscle mass and strength through exercise, healthy eating and supplementation can help support healthy muscle function, giving your muscles what they need to keep you moving.

Exercise and muscle health

Short-term muscle inactivity has been shown to reduce muscle mass and strength, even in young people. Both resistance training and aerobic exercise can improve muscle health. Resistance training (e.g. weights training) has been shown to increase muscle and strength in adults, including the elderly and physically frail adults. Aerobic exercise has been shown in preliminary trials to increase muscle protein synthesis in healthy older adults. Speak to your doctor about which exercise program is right for you.

Protein and muscle health

Eating a balanced diet will help your muscles get the nutrients they need, including macronutrients like protein. Protein in foods contain amino acids; these amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Nine of these amino acids are essential as our body can’t make them and you must get them through your diet. Sources of protein include meat, poultry and fish, cereals and dairy foods.

Magnesium helps muscles work

A third of your body’s magnesium is found in muscles and soft tissues. Magnesium helps your muscles work properly. Look for it in leafy green vegetables, nuts, peas and legumes.

Vitamin D3 supports muscle function

Muscles contain Vitamin D3 receptors and studies have shown that vitamin D may help support muscle function and muscle strength in the elderly.

Strong bones for life

Your bones are your body’s quiet achievers; they’re working hard to help you move and keep you strong. Every day, your body breaks down old bone and puts new bone in its place. Unfortunately, as you get older, your bones break down more bone than they put back. While it’s normal to lose some bone as you age, if you don’t look after your bones, you can lose too much and negatively impact your health.

Your diet and lifestyle affect the health of your bones and how well their break down and put back cycle works. Taking good care of your bones today means they can take good care of you as you age. Try these bone-strengthening tips:

Exercise for strong bones

Exercising not only benefits your bones but also improves your balance and strength, helping prevent falls and injuries. Exercises like Tai Chi, Yoga or walking help improve bone strength and balance.

Boost your sunshine vitamin

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, helps healthy bone development and helps the body absorb calcium. Find Vitamin D in egg yolks, fish, liver and foods fortified with vitamin D. Spending a few minutes in the sun (always follow sun-safe guidelines) will also help you boost your vitamin D levels.

Are you getting enough calcium?

Your body combines calcium with other minerals to build strong bones and give them structure. Good sources of calcium include dairy foods, canned fish, firm tofu, leafy green vegetables, nuts and legumes.

Live a healthy lifestyle

Taking care of your joints, muscles and bones helps you enjoy life every day. Getting out into the sunshine, doing a sport or activity you love will ensure your bones, joints and muscles are well looked after, so they can look after you!

Cenovis® has a range of products designed to support joint, bone and muscle health. Click here to learn more.

 

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