Whether you’re seven or 70, being active is a huge part of health—for good reason.
Physical activity reduces stress, strengthens the heart and lungs, and improves energy. It also promotes a healthy weight and improves your mental well-being.
For seniors, regular fitness helps maintain strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination and is a factor in fall prevention. Weight-bearing physical activities such as walking or hiking also reduce bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
So what happens when your joints act up? The following nutritional supplements can help promote joint health and reduce pain.
In a recent study, 36 people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee or hip supplemented with 1,500 mg/day of glucosamine sulphate as well as participated in a 12-week progressive walking program. This combination was found to improve physical activity levels, physical function, and osteoarthritic symptoms.
Glucosamine even wards off joint replacement surgery, according to a study in which at least 12 months of supplementing reduced the likelihood of requiring knee surgery over a five-year period. People who supplemented also used fewer medications to reduce symptoms and other health resources in general.
A three-month study found that osteoarthritic patients who took a glucosamine-chondroitin-quercetin combination had significantly reduced pain symptoms. It also improved their daily activities including walking and climbing up and down stairs, as well as improved the synovial fluid properties in their joints.
A new study looked at chondroitin sulphate’s effect on hand osteoarthritis. Patients received either 800 mg per day of chondroitin sulphate or a placebo for six months. Those in the chondroitin group experienced reduced pain, better hand function, and less morning stiffness compared to the placebo group.
Chondroitin also improves joint swelling in people with mild osteoarthritis pain.
Other promising supplements
Hyaluronic acid is a component of synovial fluid in the joints. It acts as a cushion and lubricant, which is why it’s often injected to treat joint problems. One small but promising trial found that supplementing with oral hyaluronic acid reduced pain and enhanced quality of life in people with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Collagen is another important component in healthy joint cartilage. Clinical studies suggest that consuming 10 grams daily of collagen hydrolysate reduces pain in patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis.
Don’t let unnecessary pain and stiffness put a crimp in your fitness plans. Nutritional supplements can help you stay active and pain-free into your senior years.