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Men’s Health Month: Protecting Your Joints

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June is National Men’s Health Month, which is a great time to take a look at what you can do to improve your overall health. Orthopedic surgeon Vivek Shah, MD, discusses men’s bone and joint health, and ways to prevent injury.

Keep Your Bones Strong

Many people think that osteoporosis effects only women, but men are also at risk and it is important for them to keep track of calcium and vitamin D intakes.

  • Men ages 18 to 70 need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, and men over 70 need 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day.
  • It is also essential that men get enough vitamin D, as it improves the body's ability to absorb calcium.
  • Avoid smoking, and limit alcohol to 1 drink per day or less, as these habits that can weaken bones.

Protect Your Joints

Protecting your joints, especially as you age, is very important.

  • Make stretching a part of your daily routine. Stretching can increase your flexibility, which maintains range of motion around joints and helps prevent injury.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Every pound of weight gained puts an extra 3-5 pounds of pressure on knee joints. Losing weight can diminish pain and restore function in joints, especially when paired with exercise and a healthy diet.

Stay Active

Exercise and staying active is important for your overall health.

  • Perform light exercise such as walking for at least 30 minutes five days a week. Or, perform moderate exercise such as running or bicycling for at least 30 minutes three days a week.

If you’ve recently injured yourself or have any type of persistent pain, make sure to consult an orthopedic expert.

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