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Female Health: Keep Your Joints Young


Female Health

Shed Excess Weight
Carrying extra pounds puts your joints under pressure and can wear down the cushioning cartilage that protects them. Research shows our load-bearing joints - our ankles and knees - are very vulnerable to excess weight, and our hips and backs are also sensitive. In the long-term, this can leave you at risk of developing osteoarthritis - studies have shown that people who are obese are 14 times more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than people who maintain a healthy weight.

Stay Active
Regular exercise not only helps with weight management, it also directly benefits your joints. Exercising frequently and through your whole range of movement boosts circulation, so joints are flushed with oxygen and nutrients while waste products are siphoned away. Loading your joints also strengthens the supportive network of muscles around them. Any exercise is good, but walking, cycling and swimming in useful in particular. Avoid throwing yourself into exercise in a hurry. Just as being immobile is not a good thing, overdoing it can trigger stresses and strains.

Avoid Work Issues
A deskbound lifestyle can make your joints lazy and vulnerable, so watch your posture and crowbar some activity into your day-to-day life. Avoid slouching to guard your neck, shoulder and hip joints, and take regular breaks, Instead of picking up the phone, walk to your colleague's desk and have meeting while standing up. Check your workspace isn't putting your joints under added stress.

A dress for Success
Wearing high heels can contribute to joint degeneration and knee osteoarthritis, according to research from Iowa State University. Adjust your heel height to what you're doing and wear trainers to and from work, for example. And remember, flip-flops and ballet flats can also be unsupportive. Downsize your handbag too - according to studies, the average women's bag weighs 51b (2.25kg). And also If you don't want a wear a rucksack, carry two bags to balance yourself.

Feed your Joints
Eat plenty of vividly colored fresh fruit and vegetables, as high levels of antioxidants can help mop up free radicals, which contribute to joint inflammation. Make sure you get enough calcium, too. Leafy greens, tinned fish and dairy products are good sources. And eat plenty of oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, as studies show omega 3 fatty acids can also help to reduce joint inflammation. There's no solid evidence supplements can prevent chronic issues, but celadrin, chondroitin and glucosamine are the most common types for joint health. In addition to your joint-friendly eating habits, a daily dose of daylight will help you get your quota of joint and bone-boosting vitamin D.
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