Walking, jumping, typing, wiggling our toes, bending, pointing, drawing, sitting, sleeping—what do these and virtually all activities have in common? They require our bones and joints to work together. The world acknowledged the importance of healthy joints with World Arthritis Day on October 12, and healthy bones will be the focus on World Spine Day on October 16 and World Osteoporosis Day on October 20.
Our bones and joints truly make great teammates. Did you know:1
- The adult human body has 206 bones, with 26 of them in the foot and 54 of them in the hand, including the wrist.
- The femur, or thighbone, is the longest and strongest bone of the human skeleton. In contrast, the smallest and lightest bone is located in the middle ear and called the stapes.
- The hyoid is a V-shaped bone located at the base of the tongue. It’s the only bone in the human body that is not connected to another!
- Bones are composed of calcium, phosphorus, sodium and other minerals, as well as the protein collagen. Making up the skeleton of the body, bones protect organs as well as produce red and white blood cells.
- The place where two bones meet or connect are joints, which are formed by short bands of tough fibrous connective tissue known as ligaments.
- Some joints move and others don’t. For example, joints in the skull do not move, while synovial joints do. Synovial joints are located mostly in our arms and legs.
- Hip and shoulder joints are the most mobile and known as ball and socket joints. They enable our arms and legs to move in multiple directions.
- Ellipsoidal joints allow our fingers to bend and stretch; hinge joints enable knees and elbows to move; gliding joints work in the ankles and wrists by gliding against each other.
The more we practice Active Wellness, the healthier our bones and joints are and the longer they’ll last. Consistent physical activity, a balanced diet and getting plenty of sleep will help us stay healthy and keep our bones and joints working together our entire lives.
Do you stand up straight or do you slouch? Having good posture is more than a matter of being attractive. It’s important in terms of your physical strength and flexibility—it’s essential for Active Wellness—and especially for bone and joint health.
More than half of the American population older than 18 years of age (about 54%) are affected by bone and joint conditions.1 It’s no wonder that the most common cause of long-term disabilities are related to bone and joint pain.2 As life expectancy increases, so does the prevalence of bone and joint degeneration.
Here are some ways to help keep bones and joints strong and stable:
- Move more! Less movement increases stiffness in joints. Don’t sit in one position for a long time. Get up and stretch or take a short walk.
- Research suggests that aerobic exercise (otherwise known as cardio exercise) can help reduce swelling of the joints. Inflamed joints respond well to low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling.
- Stand and sit up straight. Slouching is hard on the joints, from your neck to your knees. Good posture helps keep hip and back muscles strong.
- Pay attention to your stance when lifting or carrying heavy items. Bend your knees instead of your back.
- Make sure to get enough calcium in your diet, since calcium helps keep bones healthy and strong. Natural sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, soy or almond milk. Fill in any dietary gaps with the Kenzen® Bone Health Pack to help meet your recommended daily value of calcium with optimum absorption.
- Make sure to eat enough protein to build and maintain muscle mass. Muscles support the bones and joints. Good natural sources of protein include lean meats, seafood, beans, legumes and nuts. Just one serving of Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement contains more than 39% of the recommended daily value for protein.
- Incorporate citrus into your diet. Some studies suggest that vitamin C and other antioxidants can help keep joints healthy.3
- Take Kenzen® Joint with its advanced formula of a naturally occurring compound, cetyl myristoleate. This ingredient has natural surfactant and lubricant properties to help in smooth movement.* The same ingredient is found in CM Complex Cream to provide a naturally cooling and soothing effect to achy joints and muscles.
October 16 is World Spine Day and October 20 is World Osteoporosis Day. It’s an annual reminder to take care of your bones and your joints. It’s never too early to develop the habit of maintaining good posture, so be a good role model for the kids in your life. It’ll also keep you looking strong and healthy!
1, 2 https://www.usbji.org/programs/public-education-programs/action-week