There are simple things that we do in everyday life just because we become accustomed to doing them. You walk with a little outward “swing” in your step. Or, you twist your arm slightly when picking up something off the ground. Is there anything wrong with your leg? Or how about that ‘habit’ of twisting your arm?
There are all kinds of things that we as humans do that cause a lot of stress on our joints. They are nothing more than acquired habits, but unfortunately, these small things become major issues for our joints.
When we live with our own bad habits, the effect on our joints is that it places a heavy “load” on them. (Try to imagine an automobile that has one tire that is leaning outward or, inward). Obviously, this would cause uneven wear on the side the weight is bearing on. The same is true of those poor joints that are the victims of our bad habits.
If you take the time to watch for these “peculiar” habits and take steps to correct them, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary pain and disability both now and down the road. Let us look at step one.
Check it Out
Medical professionals have video cameras hooked up to computerized imaging that can “visualize” what is going on inside your joints when we are placing these unnecessary burdens on them. However, you do not necessarily have to go to that expense. You can begin by checking out those habits right at home.
The Home Check-up
Set up a full-length mirror and use it to look for these unusual habits. Step back about fifteen paces and walk toward the mirror. Do you notice anything unusual in your gait? Try doing a variety of things in front of that mirror to see if you can discover any unusual activity you are engaging in while using your joints. (That becomes very easy if you are experiencing pain in particular joint areas.)
Line em’ Up
Try your best to walk upright and make certain you are doing your best to keep your legs straight. Keep your shoulders as erect and pulled back as far as you can without feeling uncomfortable. It is very easy to fall into habits like “swinging” our legs in a strange way. (Usually, when the leg or foot is involved you will see uneven wear on your shoes) By walking, and of course swinging our arms and doing so in an even and “straight” way, we are balancing the needs of our joints to handle weight load evenly.
Be especially vigilant when looking at areas where you are experiencing joint pain. In many instances, it is a case of (you) victimizing the joints simply by handling your body incorrectly.
In many cases, you will be amazed at what a slight adjustment to your own body movements can make when joints ache.
More on Simple Exercise
Simple aerobic exercises have been clearly demonstrated to improve osteoarthritis symptoms. We will be giving you examples of simple exercises that take up little time and we are going to continue to do so. Eventually, you will have an arsenal of simple aerobics that address every part of your body and put little burden on you.
If you have any concerns about exercising, please consult with your physician before doing so. As well, make certain that you do not dehydrate your body (drink water as needed) and breathe fully. Let us go back to the first fundamental exercise routine that all of us benefit from.
Walking: Low to Medium Impact Exercises
Thirty minutes of walking daily is a simple, easy-to-integrate routine to get after the load-bearing joints. (If thirty minutes is too much at first, try fifteen and work your way up). This works well to keep those particular joints (low-back, hips, knees, ankles and feet) active. One would think that all of us are engaged in activities like this on a regular basis but unfortunately too many are not.
Begin with fifteen-minute walks three times weekly. Slowly, extend out to thirty minutes for the same number of times. Eventually, you should be able to build up to a daily routine. (I should say that five times weekly is sufficient unless you want more.)
If you are living in a situation where exercise is out of the question (some of you who are city dwellers and not comfortable going out), there are many pieces of equipment on the market that can do the job right at home. (Do NOT look at those massive body-building, all-inclusive pieces of equipment.) Keep it simple and discuss any equipment with knowledgeable trainers. (A trip to the local YMCA or even a good sports equipment store helps.) We are talking about exercise equipment that simulates walking or other aerobic activity.
J.R. Rogers is the founder and President of Activex America, Inc. makers of Liquid Glucosamine Formula Syn-flex®