Joints, Bones, and Muscles

JOINTS

Your joints are the areas where two bones meet. To help keep your joints smooth at the ends, the body produces cartilage, and to help your bones slide easily over each other, the joints are encased in a protective capsule filled with lubricating fluid called synovial fluid. If cartilage starts to break down, the cushioning effect is reduced as the bone surface of the joints are exposed causing them to rub. This may result in joint stiffness and mobility issues. The good news is that there are things you can do to help keep your joints healthy.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR JOINTS?

As well as trying to ensure you have regular exercise to keep your joints in good working order, you can take dietary supplements containing ingredients that support joint health. These include:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements.

BONES AND MUSCLES

Your bones are the structural framework of your body. Your body is in a constant state of building up and breaking down bone – bone problems arise when your body breaks down more bone than it builds up. This may lead to weak bones which may become brittle and prone to fracture.
Your muscles have several important roles, depending on the type of muscle. For example, the heart is a muscle and it plays a crucial role in keeping us alive, pumping blood with its life-giving oxygen to every organ in the body. Your bones also rely on muscles to help keep your joints stable and to keep the body moving.

WHAT CAN AFFECT BONE AND MUSCLE HEALTH?

How you act can have both negative and positive effects on your bones and muscles. Sometimes sports or other strenuous activities can result in injuries, fractures or muscle strains. Neglecting your bone health could increase your risk of fractures. On the positive side, you can ensure you warm up and cool down before and after sports and taking certain nutrients and minerals may help maintain your bone and muscle health. Some of these include:

  • Magnesium – is a mineral that is important for nerve and muscle function. Regular strenuous exercise or physical exertion may increase the need for magnesium. Magnesium is also an important nutrient for the cardiovascular system.
  • Calcium – a mineral that is crucial for bone health. The bones are the storage area for most of the body’s calcium; the rest of the body’s calcium is used to help maintain heart, muscle and nerve function and to keep the circulation healthy. If there is not enough calcium circulating in the body, calcium will be “stolen” from your bones, resulting in bone weakness.
  • Vitamin D, which helps the body to absorb crucial calcium.
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