Whether you are jumping into action as a weekend sports warrior, getting regular exercise or just going through your daily activities, movement is an important part of your regular routine.
If you are like most people, you probably give credit to your bones and muscles for the strength and power to move. But how often do you think about the connections that make all that flexibility possible?
Our joints are the intersections where two or more bones come together such as the knee, hip, shoulder and fingers. The ends of our bones are covered with cartilage that provides a cushion so our bones glide over each other instead of rubbing together.
Joints can become painful if they are inflamed or damaged. But there are things you can do to help keep your joints healthy.
Test your joint health awareness with this quiz from New York City family physician Dr. Cathleen London.
1) True or False: Processed foods are bad for knees and other joints.
If you said True, you are correct. Dr. London says processed foods often contain trans-fat, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and preservatives that can increase inflammation throughout the body including your joints.
So when possible, avoid processed foods like lunch meats, high-sodium canned foods or soups, sugary breakfast cereals and packaged snacks like chips or candy. But don’t think all processed foods are bad. Some processed foods like milk, frozen vegetables and 100 percent whole grain bread can be good choices for a healthy diet.
2) True or False: Stretching is one of the best ways to maintain joint health.
If you said True, you are right again. Dr. London says stretching when your muscles are warm is a good way to keep your muscles and ligaments strong and flexible.
3) True or False: Glucosamine/chondroitin is the only supplement that works to maintain joint comfort and flexibility.
Don’t believe this one. Dr. London says glucosamine/chondroitin is just one of several safe and effective supplements that can help to support joint flexibility and comfort.