Saturday, March 7, 2009

How To Keep Muscles And Joints Healthy

X-ray image of knee

In today's busy life and routine, what we often don't care
about is the health of our body. Taking care of our body is
not about just going to a doctor when we feel sick, but
taking action to prevent problems from occurring in the
future. We most often ignore our muscles and joints, and
then end up having to pay the price by spending large
amounts on surgeries or treatments we would not have needed
in the first place.

Our joints are responsible for important functions in our
body. They help in keeping the bones intact. They require
just as much care as other parts of our body like our teeth
or eyes. Our joints are the point that allows our bones to
bend flexibly. The muscles are attached to the bones with
tendons, so that as the bone moves, the muscle moves as
well. As we grow, the muscles get stronger and stronger
with exercise, enabling us to provide more energy
and power.

The most widespread problems that cause muscle or joint pain
are arthritis, muscular dystrophy, osteoporosis, repetitive
stress injuries, tendinitis, and strains. I will explain all
of these briefly, and then talk about what could be done to
prevent them.

Arthritis is when the joints become inflamed and there is
difficulty moving them. It is most common in older people,
but even children have been known to develop arthritis.
Osteoporosis causes the tissue in the bone to get weaker and
brittle thus making it easier for the bone to break. This is
most common in women and even in younger girls who reduce
their body weight to an unhealthy one. Muscular dystrophy is
inherited and causes the muscles to get weaker and break
down over time. Repetitive stress injuries are those
injuries that are caused by too much stress being placed on
one part of the body. This usually happens when the same
movements are made again and again. An example of this is
tennis elbow, which is caused by playing too much tennis or
carpal tunnel from typing on a keyboard for too long.
Strains and tendinitis can occur in all ages, and occur
usually when a muscle has been overstretched. This is most
commonly caused by not warming up properly prior to a

The best way to prevent most of these problems is to
exercise. Exercising thirty minutes every day is the
minimum, but we should aim for more. Care should be taken to
warm up and cool down after every workout to prevent any
muscle from becoming strained. It is important that we
stretch all our muscles so that our body can stay healthy
for a long time.

Another way to obtain stronger muscles is to keep body fat
levels down. Large amounts of fat make the muscles lose
their elasticity with the passage of time, and this can reduce
our resistance level and make us weaker. This mostly occurs as
we grow old, and the best precautionary measure is to watch our
weight and not let ourselves become overweight. Increasing blood
circulation is another way in which we can keep our muscles healthy,
as blood flow helps the muscles.

Having a balanced diet that includes all the basic vitamins
and nutrients is another way to prevent our joints and
muscles from troubling us. Taking in a minimum of three
servings of dairy products provides the body with adequate
calcium to help rebuild the bones and prevents osteoporosis.

Make sure you watch your health now, so that you can prevent
problems and stay healthy as you get older.
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