how to order cytotec online without a prescription the original source hamstringBy Elizabeth Phinney

Photos and video by Valencio Small | Model: Dana Ronci

It’s true, it’s true…there really is no reason for your joints to get stiff as you get older.  And, you thought it was an automatic rite of passage, didn’t you?

There are 360 joints in the human body.  A joint is the junction of two bones coming together, connected by a fibrous tissue called ligaments.  The main joints that affect us are in the feet, hands, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck.  These are our focus in order to maintain a pain free physical future.

The solution to being pain free is actually quite simple.  As mentioned last month, How To Lose Weight As You Age, you lose approximately ½ lb of muscle mass each year beginning in your early 30’s.  You typically don’t notice this until your 40’s and 50’s.  By then, you have lost about 10 – 15 lbs. of muscle tissue.  Unfortunately, if you have been on medication, especially post cancer medication, the deterioration of the tissue could have been accelerated.

All those years, you still have been doing whatever it is that you have been doing, demanding that your body simply respond to whatever it is that you ask.  Because your body is a responsive machine, it does what you ask – even with very little muscle mass.  Something has to help with the movements, so that is when the joints kick in.   Therefore, in IMG_2615using our legs when our legs are not strong enough, we are actually not relying so much on the muscles in our legs, but on the joints of our legs to perform.

Over time, our joints may begin to give way, get stiff, or much worse, become arthritic and the pain begins.  Arthritis is simply the wearing away of the cushioning tissue in the joint.  Once worn away or thinned out, you are left with bone on bone.  In way too many cases, joint replacement is a must in order to alleviate the pain and allow the joint to function properly again.

However, this is not inevitable.  The solution is very logical:  to not have a wearing away of the joint tissue, you need to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint.  Therefore, to save the knees and hips, you need to have strong thighs.  To save the feet and ankles, you need to strengthen the calves and shins.  Then, the legs will function as they were meant to and the joints will last for decades longer.  (If you are overweight, the excess weight also enhances the erosion of the cartilage in the joint.)

Strengthening the muscles around the joints is key.  But, stretching them out is equally important.  When we overuse our muscles, the muscle tissue tends to knot up causing stiffness and discomfort.  By stretching the joints/muscles at the end of the activity, it helps to realign the tissue so the stress of the use can be partially allayed.  Or, if the joint is held in a particular position for an extended period of time – sitting at a desk or driving in a car – it tends to stiffen IMG_2622up.  Again, stretching is important to realign the tissue.

What exercises, and stretches, to do vary depending on your current physical situation.  The best way to find out is to find a Personal Trainer who has worked with people with your same issues, age group and lack of experience with exercise.  If there is actual injury, seeing a doctor would be the best place to start to get a diagnosis.  Physical therapy will most likely follow, then hire a Personal Trainer after the therapy is done.

There is a caveat to all this:  if you have stiffness in the joints and are very active and do all sorts of sports and are very strong, why are you so stiff?  My first question would be, are you stretching the right muscles after your exercise?  And, equally as important, are you doing strength training exercises for the muscles in addition to the sports you play?  If you are only playing sports and demanding of the muscles without giving the strengthening back to them, how are the joints meant to survive all the stress and demand?

We always assume that playing sports is enough to do for exercise.  Truth be told, we need to prepare the body even more, and strengthen the muscles even more, to accommodate the extra demand that the sports’ activity imposes.  And, at the end of the sport, stretch, stretch, stretch – right away, to help realign the tissue.

Remember this, our bodies want to do everything we ask, but in order to do that, we need to give back.  Strengthening and stretching are two of the things we can do to help our muscles and joints be supple and strong for IMG_2628decades to come.

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