NorthStar Nutritionals Blog

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  1. 6 Fun Exercises to Improve Joint Stability

    Technically, joint stability is defined as “the ability to maintain or control joint movement or position” but that doesn’t come close to capturing what joints stability really means.

    Because you know that stable joints means living with more.

    More mobility, more balance, more living life to the fullest.

    Having stable joints is about being steady on your feet whether you’re walking a golf course or walking through the grocery store.

    It’s about knowing you can lift, bend, and reach so that you’re able to keep up with the activities of daily living and stay independent.

    In fact, joint stability, balance, and mobility are intricately linked. So much so that you can’t talk about one without talking about the other two.

    In other words, having stable joints really is about so much more than just stability. But here’s the twist - joint stability is also about living with less.

    Less pain. Less fear of falling. Less stiffness. Less isolation.

    So give these six exercises a try to increase stability, balance, and mobility.

    The Walking Exercises

    For many people, walking is an unconscious act. You don’t even think about doing it. But walking mindfully, in specific ways, can help improve your joints with stability while hardly changing your daily routine.

    Long Strides. Pay attention to how long your stride is when you walk, especially during planned exercise time. Focus on lengthening your stride, so your leg is extended, rather than shuffling or taking a close step. Make sure you lift your feet and plant your heel when you step. Are you swinging the opposite arm when you walk? If you are, good! If not, be aware and get your shoulders moving. These deliberate motions may feel awkward at first, but they really will help improve hip, shoulder, knee, and ankle stability.

    Tandem Walking. Tandem means in a row, or one following the other. In this case, your feet should be in a row. You may have heard this referred to as “heel-toe walking.” Whatever you call it, it’s great for improving knee stability and balance. Stand as you normally do, then put your left foot directly in front of your right foot, so your left heel is in contact with your right toe. Take the next step so that your right heel is in contact with your left toe. If necessary, keep a hand on the wall or practice this step alongside a counter you can hold onto while your balance improves.

    Water Walking. Interestingly enough, water walking is good for people who need extra help with their balance and for people who already have good balance and want to really take it up a notch. The water makes you more buoyant, so you’re less likely to fall, and is less painful on achy joints. At the same time, it adds resistance, so your muscles have to work differently. So no matter what level you’re on when it comes to stability and balance, finding a pool to walk in could be helpful. If you need to, be sure to hold on to the edge of the pool for added support.

    The Standing Exercises

    It’s important to work on joint stability when you’re at home, too – plus it’s easy! Any of these exercises can be done while you’re watching television in the evenings.

    Calf Raises. This exercise has several levels of difficulty, so be sure to start where you’re most comfortable. It’s good for balance and ankle stability.

    Beginning: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Come up onto the toes of your right foot, using your left foot only to maintain balance. Most of your weight should be on your right toes. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your right heel. Repeat with the left foot.

    Intermediate: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lift up onto both toes. Touch the wall or the back of a chair if you need help maintaining your balance. Hold for a few seconds then lower your heels. Repeat.

    Advanced: Stand on a step with your heels below the edge. Lift up onto your toes and hold for a few seconds. Lower your heels back into starting position. Repeat. Note: you can perform this one heel at a time, the same way you did in the beginning stage until you’re confident in your balance and stability.

    Tandem Stance. This is the stationary version of the tandem walk. Stand on a flat surface. Place your left foot in front of your right foot, so your left heel touches your right toe. Hold still for thirty seconds. Release. Repeat with your right foot in front. Once you can stand still and maintain stability on both sides for the full thirty seconds, try it with your eyes closed. Just be sure to have a counter or chair close by to help you keep your balance if necessary!

    One Legged Stance. Finally, this exercise improves stability in your ankle, knee, and hip, as well as overall balance. It’s good to wait on this one until you’ve mastered the tandem stance. Stand with your feet together on a level surface. Lift your right foot off the ground. How high is entirely up to you. Stand still and balanced for thirty seconds, then lower your leg. Repeat on the left side. If you’re ready for a challenge, try both sides with your eyes closed!

    Healthy Joints = Stable Joints

    And of course, the best way to improve stability in your joints is to maintain healthy joints. Watch what you’re eating and make sure you’re choosing foods that are good for your joints, as well as staying away from foods that are bad for your joints.

    Lose weight if you need to. And take LunaFlex every evening – the only joint support supplement that can give you new knees in ninety days!

    No matter your fitness level, you can achieve greater joint stability and balance to keep you mobile for years to come, with the right exercises and LunaFlex.

    So get moving – to stay moving!

  2. The Shocking Everyday Item That Helps with Joint Lubrication

    lubrication jointWhen it comes to joint lubrication, there are a lot promises being made.

    But the truth is far more mundane than any promise.

    No miracle pills from the Far East.

    No obscure ointments rediscovered after centuries.

    Not even an ointment used since the time of Cleopatra.

    For help with joint lubrication, all you need is… Water!

    If you get it from your tap or buy it from the store – sparkling, or still – water is one of the best things you can do for joint health and lubrication.

    It’s Not Just About Your Skin

    You probably know that your skin needs water to stay youthful and wrinkle-free, but it’s not just your skin.

    Your entire body needs water to function properly – including your joints.

    First, healthy joints require healthy bones. Since your bones don’t have blood vessels, they have to get and maintain their proper level of lubrication through water.

    But that’s the bones. What about the joints themselves?

    It’s important to understand how the joints work in the first place. The liquid in your joints is called synovial fluid.

    It’s what keeps your joints lubricated and moving freely. It reduces the amount of wear and tear on your cartilage.

    And it carries the nutrients your joints need to stay nourished.

    Try to guess what synovial fluid needs to function properly. Water allows synovial fluid to fulfill its duties.

    When your joints become dehydrated, the synovial fluid loses its efficacy. It begins to dry up and it doesn’t transport nutrients as efficiently.

    This is when the dominoes start to fall. As the synovial fluid stops working at peak efficiency due to lack of water, the cartilage in your joints start to rub together.

    This causes your body to respond with an unhealthy inflammation reaction – and you end up dealing with swelling, aches, and pain.

    But that’s not all. As your joints rub together, it causes wear and tear. Your body is literally destroying itself and your cells simply cannot keep up.

    They cannot rejuvenate as fast as they are being destroyed. All because you didn’t know just how important water was to the health of your joints.

    To recap – water is necessary to keep joints lubricated because:

    • Water keeps the bones that support the joints healthy
    • Water helps keep the body’s supply of synovial fluid at optimal levels
    • Water allows synovial fluid to perform at peak capacity
    • Water promotes a healthy inflammatory response in your joints
    • Water helps slow down the deterioration of your joints caused by wear and tear
    • Water gives cells a boost when it comes to rejuvenation

    How Much is Enough?

    Now that you do know that joint lubrication and health is this closely tied into water, it’s time to figure out how much water you really need – and deciding this may actually be trickier than understanding how important water is.

    Some reports are that you should drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Getting that much is easier than it may sound at first.

    You know you should start your day with a glass of water as part of a healthy morning routine. After all, you’ve been without water for at least six hours.

    You’re going to be dehydrated! Have another glass midmorning. Make your lunch beverage another glass of water.

    Now you’re already at three. Have a glass in the afternoon. Even if you pour another drink with dinner, make sure you have a glass of water then, too.

    Finally, have your last glass of water a couple hours before bed.

    Just like that, you’ve gotten six glasses of water to help with joint lubrication! Get the other two – if you want them – by having a drink before and after you exercise, or after you take a nap.

    All that being said, still other reports state that simply drinking a glass of water whenever you’re thirsty is enough to get the proper amount of water for you.

    This works particularly well if you also have a glass of water with every meal.

    The quick and easy way to know if you’re getting enough water to help with joint lubrication, though, is to look at the color of your urine.

    The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are and the more water you should drink. When you’re well hydrated, your urine should be light or even clear.

    The good news is that regardless of if you’re set on drinking eight glasses of water a day, just drinking whenever you’re thirsty, or simply keeping an eye on your urine, you don’t have to gulp your water down quickly.

    In fact, you shouldn’t. Sipping it slowly gives your body the chance it needs to utilize the water so your joints are lubricated – and all of you is healthier.

    Water, working from the inside out to help you maintain healthy, comfortable joints.

  3. Reduce Joint Swelling in Under 30 Minutes

    swelling jointBy the time you need to reduce joint swelling, you’re not looking for long-term solutions. You’re looking for relief from the swelling and discomfort and you’re looking for it right now. I get that. But it’s important that you treat the cause of your swollen joints properly in order to not make it worse. Continue reading →
  4. 11 Essential Immune System Vitamins

    vitamins immune systemIt’s winter and that means it’s winter cold and flu season. At the grocery store, the mall, in the office – everywhere - people are coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. But you don’t have to be as concerned about it if you’re giving your immune system the vitamins it needs to function at peak efficiency! Take a look at these important immune system vitamins, and work them into your daily diet and supplement routine for the healthiest cold and flu season yet! Continue reading →
  5. 9 Shocking Health Benefits of Eating Beets

    Eating beets benefitsYou know the superfoods: Kale…chia seeds…pomegranates…beets? I know, that last one may be shocking but there really are incredible health benefits to eating beets! So before you pass them by in the grocery produce section, read on. It’s time to start reaping the benefits of eating beets. Continue reading →
  6. 4 Quick Ways to Improve Posture for Joint Health

    Improve posture waysWhen it comes to joint health, you’ve got it covered. You eat right, you take the right supplements. You’re even getting enough sleep, so your joints can repair themselves. But have you thought about ways to improve your posture in order to help improve your joint health? If you have, good for you! If you haven’t, don’t feel bad. People don’t usually think about posture being linked to joint health. So let’s look closely at how joint health is affected by posture – and ways to improve posture and your joint health. Continue reading →
  7. The Ultimate Prostate Cancer Diet: Can You Prevent Prostate Cancer With Food?

    Diet prostate cancerThe topics are all over your television, news stream, and radio: how can you prevent prostate cancer? Is there a prostate cancer diet? What are your risks for prostate cancer? If you’re a man – or a woman who loves a man – you’ve probably realized prostate health should be a major focus of overall health. There’s a good reason for that. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, coming in behind skin cancer. And it’s the second deadliest cancer in men, as well. In fact, 1 in every 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point. Sadly, 1 in every 38 of those men will die from it. However, that doesn’t mean that prostate cancer is inherently a death sentence. More than 2.9 million men diagnosed with prostate cancer are still around, living life to its fullest. And perhaps the easiest way to prevent prostate cancer, and increase your odds of beating it, is through diet. Simple, healthy, and delicious changes to your diet can help you help your prostate! Continue reading →
  8. A Cheat Sheet for Treating Sciatica

    sciatica treatingOfficially, sciatica is “pain in the lower extremity resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve” – but that doesn’t come close to capturing how sciatica feels, what it’s like to live with it, or just how important treating sciatica can be. Because that “pain in the lower extremity” can mean a constant, nagging ache that never seems to completely go away. Or a shooting pain that radiates through your buttock and down your leg. It can mean never being able to roll over in bed because you can’t sleep on the affected side. Or not being able to sit for a long time, because the discomfort becomes too much. And it really means that treating this pain can become a top priority, so that you can have a reprieve from the constant ache and shooting pains. Continue reading →
  9. Alcohol and Skin: What Everyone Should Know

    skin and alcoholMost people have the occasional beer, glass of wine, or cocktail. But what happens if you have more than that? It’s easy to think that, so long as you don’t have a drinking problem, alcohol isn’t a health issue. After all, it’s even recognized that a glass of red wine a night can be good for your health! The truth, though, is that alcohol can have a real impact on how quickly you age. And alcohol especially affects your skin and how old – or young – you look. So much so that alcohol and skin health are directly related. Continue reading →
  10. The Dangers of Natural Supplements

    supplements naturalHave you seen the recent sensational headlines about natural supplements sending people to emergency rooms in staggering numbers? They certainly caught our attention. So we read more. Sure enough more than 23,000 emergency room visits are caused by supplements every single year. The headlines definitely had our attention. So we read more. They certainly got us to read their articles, I’ll concede that point and give them credit for it. But I’m also glad that I took the time to read the information presented and didn’t just take the headline at face value. Continue reading →
  11. Can I Have Sex After a Heart Attack?

    heart attack afterAfter a heart attack, it can feel like everything is different. Your diet, your activity level…your sex life… Heart attacks tend to have emotional consequences, not just physical ones. Even once your doctor has cleared you for physical activity after a heart attack, you may still be nervous about having sex. That’s okay. In fact, it’s understandable. The bedroom is the last place you want to have another heart attack! The good news is that less than 1% of all heart attacks take place during sex, so once you’ve been cleared by your doctor, you’re no more likely to have a heart attack in that moment than anyone else. Continue reading →
  12. Joint Pain and Fatigue: Is My Joint Pain Causing Fatigue?

    fatigue and joint painYour joints hurt. And you’re tired. But is your joint pain and fatigue related? Could your joint pain actually be causing fatigue? And what – if anything - can you do about them? You’ve got questions. Luckily, I’ve got some answers… Continue reading →
  13. Do You Have Unexplained Nerve Pain? Nerve Pain Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

    nerve pain unexplainedYou’re not 100% sure when it started, but you know it’s happening more often. The unexplained nerve pain that have changed your life. Skin burning and tingling. Feeling like you’ve got pins and needles running up and down your arms or legs. Even an electrical sensation under your skin. Some days it may be so bad that even a loving hug or a supportive touch can be too much. But what causes nerve pain? And more importantly, what can you do about them? Continue reading →
  14. Ease Your Dry Winter Skin with 9 Simple Treatments

    Skin winter dryIf you have sensitive skin, then you know that dry winter skin is the worst. Because, let’s be honest, dry skin the winter is no fun even if you don’t have sensitive skin. The cold, dry air outside and the hot, dry air inside work together to make your skin dry, cracked, and itchy. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it’s unattractive as well. Luckily, there are nine simple ways that can work together – or separately - to ease dry winter skin. Continue reading →
  15. 5 Amazing Remedies for Tinnitus

    tinnitus remediesTinnitus. That constant low-level ringing in your ears. It’s easy to think it couldn’t possibly be all that bad – if you don’t have it. But if you do have it, you know it can be that bad. And since it’s often related to aging – it’s most common in people over 40 - just because you don’t have it now doesn’t mean you won’t have it later. Which is why we’re looking at remedies for tinnitus you might not know about.  Continue reading →
  16. 10 Unknown Myths and Truths About Joint Replacement Surgery

    surgery joint replacement When it comes to joint replacement surgery, there’s so much misinformation out there. It’s hard to tell what’s myth and what’s true. In this article, we’ll tackle some of those myths, differentiate between the myths that have arisen based on legitimate concerns and those based in fear or resignation, and finally weed out the fact from fiction of replacing joints. Continue reading →
  17. Stress and Pain: Is Stress the Cause of Your Pain [take this quiz]

    pain and stressDoes your pain cause your stress? Or does your stress cause your pain? We’ve known for a long time that stress and pain are connected. But how do you know which came first? This quiz may give you an indication of which came first, and if stress is actually causing your pain. Continue reading →
  18. 10 Unbelievable Food and Diet Myths Debunked

    myths dietWhen it comes to eating for weight loss and better health, it’s easy to think you know all there is to know. Unfortunately, sometimes what you think is true is actually myth. Persistent myth, but myth nonetheless. Like these ten diet myths that seem to stick around, no matter how often they’re debunked! Continue reading →
  19. Beware of These 10 Eczema Triggers

    triggers eczemaIt’s more than just dry skin – it’s eczema. The dry, scaly, cracking skin. It itches. It hurts. And honestly, sometimes it’s embarrassing. It’s also not your fault. There are eczema triggers that you may not even be aware of – but once you know them, you can avoid them. And maybe you can even stop eczema flare ups before they begin. Continue reading →
  20. How to Get Beautiful Feet in 3 Minutes

    Beautiful feet how to getTo be fair, in the larger scheme of your health, how to get beautiful feet isn’t all that important. But beautiful feet can make you feel better. And anything that boosts your confidence, makes you feel better, or lets you feel pretty even on a bad day is worth thinking about. Plus, you can get beautiful feet in a matter of minutes, which makes how to get beautiful feet an even more worthwhile confidence booster. Follow these five steps to get beautiful feet in no time. Continue reading →