September 14, 2020
Even for those of us who think about health and fitness, bone and joint health is one of those topics that’s a little less top of mind. But keeping your bones and joints healthy is critical to ensuing comfort, mobility and longevity.
What can you do to improve your bone and joint health? We asked Tara Luke, Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and Natural Choice Advisor at Calgary Co-op for her recommendations.
Eat Real fFoods, or Adopt an Alkalizing Diet
“I love the Michael Pollan quote, “Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food,” says Luke. “But that’s the essence of how to eat properly to maintain not just your bones and joints, but your overall health.”
Luke recommends eating an alkalizing diet with about 80% plants and 20% meat/dairy/grains. Often our bodies can be too acidic, thanks to eating too much meat, processed foods, and drinking alcohol, sugary beverages, and caffeine. Eliminate or cut back on these types of food and drinks to create a more natural, alkaline state in your body.
Ensure You’re Getting Calcium
Calcium is important for strong bones, but how you get your calcium is almost as important. While getting it from foods and plant sources is ideal (like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, seaweed, even tahini) you’ll want to ensure you’re getting enough, and for some, that can be difficult. That’s where a calcium supplement may come in.
Luke recommends calcium supplements with magnesium and vitamins like K2, such as New Chapter Bone Strength, AOR Bone Basics, Enerex Osteo Cal:Mag and Nature’s Way Calcium & Magnesium Citrate. All are available at Calgary-area Co-op stores in the Natural Choice section.
Get Exercise & Find Ways to Move
For some, the word exercise can be intimidating and daunting, but it helps keep bones strong and joints limber.
“I prefer the term movement. It’s less scary than exercise,” Luke suggests. “Find ways to move that you enjoy; the goal is to increase your circulation. If you can work in some movement with weights, this helps build bone.”
No one says you need to run a 5K marathon, so consider long walks, an easy but beautiful hike, or even gentle yoga.
Reduce Stress & Maintain Balance
“Stress is one of those things we all deal with, but many of us don’t realize how it can physically affect our bodies,” says Luke. “Stress is a key factor in inflammation within our bodies; think sore and tense muscles or an uneasy stomach. Anything you can do to lower your stress levels benefits your overall health and well-being.”
Luke recommends deep breaths when you feel yourself start to stress, but also maintaining social ties with family and friends, and making sure you have time in your day for fun things, not just work and obligations.
“Cultivate a positive attitude and one of gratitude; find fresh air once a day, and make a plan to go for simple movement. Taking time for yourself also lets you be a better person when you need to support others.”
If you do need a boost in managing stress, Luke recommends supplements like Veeva Stress, or CanPrev Adrenal Chill which contain adaptogens that can help you get your system back into balance (homeostasis) and increase tolerance levels for stress.
If you’re dealing with pain from inflammation and need extra help, supplements like Enerex Serrapeptase, New Chapter Turmeric Force, or SierraSil Joint Formula 14.
With a few small adjustments to daily life, and perhaps a little extra help, keeping your joints limber and your bones strong is easy. If you have questions about bone and joint health or you want advice about natural wellness, visit the Co-op Natural Choice section and speak to a Natural Choice advisor.
Please Note: Health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional health advice. This general information is not intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Any information, advice, or suggestions given by Calgary Co-op staff is not a replacement for medical advice from your Doctor, Dentist, or professional Practitioner. Consult with your healthcare professional with any questions you may have.
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