Joint health is fundamental for flowing with ease, comfort and grace in the body. The joints tend to lose flexibility due to reduced amounts of lubricating fluids, hormonal shifts, and cartilage thins as we age. Here are some easy tips to incorporate into your life to increase the happiness of your joints!
1. Drink More Water: Possibly THE most important thing to do if you have PAIN or DISCOMFORT in your body because its both easy and reduces pain! The health of your tissues depends on your water intake: think of a plant you forgot to water – a similar thing will happen in your body, leaving your joints dry, achy, wilted and fatigued.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends between 11.5 – 15.5 cups (2.7 – 3.7 liters) of fluids a day for adults. You can also think of it as 8 glasses/ day. Keep track of how much water you are ACTUALLY drinking, otherwise you won’t know for sure! We use various methods in our home to make sure we get enough:
- Notepad with tally of each glass drunk at the water cooler. Make a game of it!
- Fill 2 large glass water bottles with non-disposible straws and drink one between breakfast and lunch, and one between lunch and dinner (plus hot water with lemon upon rising in the morning, tea after dinner, more glasses of water throughout day and night if you wake up).
2. Take a Joint Break and Circle Your Joints: Neck, wrists, ankles, hips and pelvis LOVE when you circle and rotate them. This is an easy pick me up for your energy and circulation and only takes a couple of minutes. You can do this in your chair, on the floor, or standing.
3. Align Your Posture: The more aligned your body posture is in your everyday activities, the more balanced your joints with be over time with strength, flexibility, and wear and tear. Improper alignment is the catalyst for many aches and pains in the joints, and can lead one eventually to surgery.
The great thing is if you re-align now as best you can as often as it comes into your awareness, you can avoid the bad body habits that could lead to further pain and even avoid surgery. Yoga is perhaps the best way to teach your body proper alignment.
4. Reduce Sugar Intake: BIG PAIN ALERT! If you complain of feeling tight and stiff, or worse you have pain, as an experiment cut out all sugar, or at least significantly reduce it. Sugar causes our bodies to release insulin and stress hormones, which can trigger inflammation – one of the most common causes of chronic pain. Areas of the body that have the least amount of blood circulation are at greatest risk of inflammation: namely joints and the back.
The great news is that these common pain areas and can be the most dramatically impacted by sugar consumption and avoidance. Don’t worry – you can still enjoy the FLAVOR of sweet! Naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables, pose minimal risk, and it’s refined sugars that cause the most inflammation.
Try incorporating more sweet VEGGIES and FRUITS into your meals like baked yams, carrots, squashes, blueberries in your salad, and baked apples with cinnamon and cardamon for dessert. When I make dark chocolate and bake cookies and cakes, I use a small amount of maple syrup (it’s actually filled with tons of great nutrients and minerals!)(and I am Canadian, eh?) with green stevia powder (I use the actual leaves ground up, not the liquid which is over processed). Maple syrup and stevia together has a nice flavor, not like stevia on its own.
5. Practice Calming Techniques and Get Enough Sleep: Your stress affects what you eat, drink and how well you take care of yourself. And stress, with the consumption that can follow which studies show to be fats and sugars, can lead to fat storage, weight gain, and inflammation – not good news for your joints!
Lack of sleep impacts your hormone production, cravings, fatigue and pain levels. Aim for eight hours of sleep most nights.
Wednesdays in March, 2022. 4:30-5:45pm ET (+on demand until April 17)
INCLUDES JOINT WORKBOOK for your continued practice!
You’ll learn self-care techniques to bathe your joints with love with yoga, breathing, mudras, Somatic movement, PNF stretching, self-massage, acupressure and deep relaxation in yoga nidra.
Sliding Scale Tuition. All levels. CE’s YACEP.
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