At that point, you know that this is more than just a worthy New Year’s resolution – it’s the ultimate goal.
So we’ve collected the twelve ways for you to achieve relief in your joints for 2016 – and beyond.
1. Lose weight. It’s no fun. It’s not easy. And it will even take a while for your joints to start feeling better. That being said, losing weight is one of the most effective ways to ease joint discomfort. For every one pound you lose, you reduce the stress on your knee by three pounds and stress on your hip by six. Six pounds of stress off your hip, just by losing a single pound.
2. Exercise. Luckily, one of the ways to help lose weight is also a great way to relieve joint discomfort: exercise. While it may be tempting to stop moving when your joints hurt, low-impact exercise can actually help keep them flexible and healthy.
3. Add some spice. While the spice turmeric is relatively unknown in western diets, it’s a staple in Indian kitchens. Its bright yellow hue gives a pop of color to dishes and its unique flavor is worth trying. But what really makes turmeric interesting is the fact that it’s been linked to creating a healthy inflammatory response, so it may help bring relief in your joints with every meal.
4. Don’t write off all fats. You probably know that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart, but you may not realize they’re good for your joints, too – but they are. If you really want relief, make sure you’re getting enough fatty acids into your diet. You’ll need between 2000 and 3000 mg to maximize relief. Look to fatty fishes, olive oil, nuts, and flax seed for variety.
5. Take your vitamins – Vitamin D, that is. Not only does Vitamin D keep your bones healthy, but it’s been linked to joint health, as well. Unfortunately, many people are missing out on Vitamin D. You can find it in eggs and dairy, but it’s also effective in supplement form.
6. Know what strains your joints. Part of getting joint relief is knowing what hurts them and simply avoiding it. Repetitive motions can cause joint to become achy and stiff. Pounding exercises such as running and certain aerobic classes can be jarring. Trying to do too much, too fast, can exacerbate joint problems. So be smart, do a little research, and avoid the movements that actively hurt.
7. Use temperature therapy to your advantage. Some injuries require ice only. Other injuries do better with heat. But the one good thing about dealing with joint discomfort is that your joints respond to both ice and heat. Ice can reduce swelling, while heat can soothe and relax muscles. Whichever one feels good to you in the moment is the one you should choose for relief. Just remember to never put ice or heat directly onto the skin and remove both after about 20 minutes.
8. Get a massage. If you can find a massage therapist who has training in joint care, regular massage has been shown to provide relief in your joints. Physical therapists can also teach you self-massage techniques that can be helpful at home.
9. Have a soak. You know that hot bath that feels so good and gives you so much relief? Technically, that’s called hydrotherapy, and you’re right – it really works to soothe joints. So feel free to run a tub and relax.
10. Acupuncture. The ancient Chinese art of acupuncture has been used to provide relief to your joints for centuries. Just be sure to find a reputable practitioner with professional training and references.
11. Meditation. From deep breathing to guided imagery and every form in between, meditation has helped people find relief on several levels. First, it can help reduce discomfort. But more than that, meditation helps relieve stress and help you deal with your physical conditions better. In fact, some people find relief from depression right along with joint relief, thanks to meditation.
12. Get some rest. Your body needs rest in order to heal, and your joints are no different. It’s easy – joint relief requires sleep. But all too often joint discomfort disrupts your sleep, which in turn makes your joints worse…which keeps you up at night… It’s a hard cycle to break. Many of these steps may help. Exercise, hot baths, meditation, all have been shown to help people get to sleep better. You can also try LunaFlex, the only joint relief supplement on the market that’s also designed to help you get to sleep and stay asleep, so your joints get the relief they need.
Eating well. Relaxing. Moving. Sleeping. As it turns out, finding relief for your joints may become your favorite resolution of the year!