It seems like a pretty obvious statement that the health of our joints is crucially important. Our joints allow our bodies to bend, move and stretch. They get us where we need to go, and let us accomplish the things we need to do.
However, despite the importance of our joints and the amazing things they do for us, many people still live sedentary lifestyles, and do not spend nearly enough time in motion.
Why is it so important to our joints that we keep moving? Our joints are surrounded by synovial fluid. This slippery substance keeps our joints lubricated, so that they can work in harmony with tendons, ligaments and cartilage, giving us smooth and comfortable range of motion.
However, when we are sedentary, synovial fluid cannot move throughout the joints, and cannot get into the creases where it needs to be to lubricate our joints. If we do not move around enough, our joints become stiff, and movement becomes more and more of a chore.
Get out and walk!
In order to keep our joints healthy (and for so many other reasons!), exercise is crucial. To get that synovial fluid moving, try going for a walk in the morning when you wake up, and as often as you can throughout the day.
Try to keep up a brisk pace, and aim for 30 minutes at least three days a week. The more you walk, the happier your joints will be!
Don’t forget to stretch
Stretching is also highly important to keeping our muscles and joints limber. Try to stretch on a daily basis. Take it slow — do not overstrain — and focus on all of your muscles. It also is crucially important to stretch before doing any moderate to high intensity exercise, to prepare your body for the workout ahead.
Our joints keep us going — so don’t fall into the sedentary trap, and move your body as much as you can!
-Dr. Joshua Levitt