Musculoskeletal injuries or arthritis can cause significant pain and limitations when doing daily activities. Whether you currently have problems or want to increase your strength and possibly prevent problems, living a lifestyle focused on building stronger bones and muscles can help.
Eat The Right Foods
Your diet should emphasize building strong bones and muscles. The building blocks for your bones are having adequate intake of calcium, trace minerals, and vitamin D. Having strong bones can reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis as your grow older, which can lead to fractures and overall weakness. Try to incorporate more calcium into your diet via dairy products. If you do not consume animal products, many dairy alternatives are fortified with calcium and other nutrients, but you will need to read labels carefully. As for improving muscle strength, protein and amino acids are imperative to retain or build muscle. There are numerous protein sources available, such as meat, soy, and grains like quinoa.
Lose Excess Body Fat
If necessary, you will need to eat a diet aimed at weight reduction to minimize unnecessary stress on your musculoskeletal system. You may need to experiment to find the right diet that helps you achieve your goals while maintaining overall health. For example, some people find they can lose weight eating a standard low-fat, low-calorie diet. Although this is often considered the gold-standard for weight loss, it does not always work for every person.
Some people have more success eating low-carbohydrate with either high-fat or high-protein. The theory behind these diets is that you still eat fewer calories, which results in weight loss. However, eating more protein and/or fat often results in satiety with less food, making it easier to maintain the lifestyle. Try different approaches for a month and take notes on what you eat, how you feel, measurements, and your weight. This will guide you in the dietary needs for your unique body.
Build Bone Density Through Exercise
Now that you have the nutrients available to retain bone density, you need to incorporate exercises that encourage your body to increase bone density. Fortunately, many simple exercises that are used to maintain functional fitness also help with bone density. Some popular options are walking, jogging, and swimming. Each exercise offers some resistance because you are carrying your own body weight, which challenges both your bones and muscles. Another benefit to these exercises is they can improve your cardiovascular fitness, which puts less strain on your heart. As you become more comfortable, find ways to add more resistance, such as using hand or ankle weights while walking, jogging, or swimming.
Increase Muscle Mass
You will need to challenge yourself more to build muscle. Increasing your muscle mass does not have to involve heavy weightlifting or becoming bulky. Strong muscles and other soft tissues are important for stabilizing joints and reducing injury or degeneration of the joints. Start with a simple strength training program that targets the major muscle groups. The amount of weight you need will depend on your current strength level. You do not want to chose weights that make every repetition a struggle, but you have to put in effort to finish the set. Beginners usually start with two to five pound hand weights and work their way up. Choose exercises that focus on your upper body, lower body, and core.
Develop a schedule where you either work your entire body on the same day or set aside specific days for certain muscle groups. It is important to give each muscle grouping one to two days of rest to reduce the chance of injury and to prevent damaging the new muscle fibers you are building. If you are short on time or are simply not enthusiastic about exercising, find workout tapes that combine strength training and cardiovascular exercise. This is the easiest way to reduce your overall workout time, while gaining similar benefits.
Living a lifestyle that is conducive to a stronger musculoskeletal system can reduce injuries and degenerative joint diseases. Even if you have noticed the beginning stages of back pain or arthritis, it is not too late to make changes that may reduce pain and limitations. For more information, contact companies like Tedder Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Center.