10 Ways to Protect Your Joints

Protect Your Joints

 

Have your knees started to ache? Does your hip hurt when you walk? Are you rubbing your back at night? Your joints are critical to your mobility, whether you are sitting, standing, or actively moving. Follow these tips to protect your joints and help prevent osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis.

 

Avoid carrying extra body weight. The higher your weight, the more stress you are putting on your joints, especially your hips, knees, back and feet. Reach and maintain your ideal weight.

 

Move your body. Exercise protects joints by strengthening the muscles around them. Strong muscles keep your joints from rubbing against one another, wearing down cartilage. The key is to get daily physical exertion, doing a variety of activities such as range-of-motion exercises, aerobic exercise, and strengthening exercises.

 

Correct your posture. Be aware of how you are sitting and standing. Are you slouching or straining your head forward? Good posture with proper alignment protects the joints in your neck, back, hips, and knees. Be aware of

 

Lift and carry with care. When lifting or carrying, use the largest and strongest joints and muscles so as to avoid injury. For instance, when lifting, bend from the knees to rely on the strong thigh muscles rather than bending from the hips and straining your back.

 

Listen to your body. If you are in pain, don’t ignore it. Pain after activity or exercise may be a sign that you have overstressed your joints. Apply ice and get rest.

 

Remember rest periods. Give yourself short breaks during extended periods of strenuous labor. Repetitive stress on joints for long periods of time can accelerate the wear and tear that causes osteoarthritis.

 

Don’t stay in one position for too long. It can be taxing to sit or stand for hours a day, five days a week. Changing positions regularly will decrease the stiffness in your muscles and joints. Try to fit in one-minute breaks to do simple stretches and exercises at your workstation.

 

Start slow. Don’t expect to be able to run a mile if you haven’t run in ages. Start new activities slowly and safely until you know how your body will react to them. This will reduce the chance of injury.

 

Ask for help. Need to move a large piece of furniture or heavy box? It can be tempting to try to get it done yourself but it would be safer to get someone to help you with the task.

Eric Mamon

Eric Mamon

Eric Mamon, cPT, CSN, has been Regional Director of HealthEase since 2008. He is a nationally certified Personal Trainer and a certified Sports Nutritionist as well as an Alliance Member with the American College of Sports Medicine. Eric is also an accomplished martial artist and bodybuilder as well as a regular participant in marathons and charity runs.

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10 Ways to Weight Train More Wisely

Weight training is important for muscular strength and endurance as well as bone health. When I am supervising the floor of a fitness center, I stay alert for people who may be following improper form or need a helpful reminder. Make sure your routine is done right so you get the results you want!

 

1.     Warm Up

 

Warming up improves blood flow to tissues, which helps with muscle performance and flexibility. You can do gentle stretching, light cardio, or light lifting before heavier lifting.

 

2.     Use Good Form

 

When you lift weights or use weight training machines, you need to know correct form in order to lift safely, and to achieve the best results. Ask a fitness professional before you begin an exercise program with weights. An important general rule: lift weights in a slow and controlled manner; never fast and jerky.

 

3.     Keep Your Back Straight

 

Good lifting form includes keeping the back straight and not curved when lifting or squatting. If you can’t maintain a straight back, you are probably lifting too heavy weights.

 

4.     Check the Weight of Your Weights

 

Start with light weights and progressively move to heavier weights and more challenging exercises. Don’t lift too light for too long, and don’t lift too heavy too early. Ask a trainer for advice if you’re not sure how to do this.

 

5.     Use a Spotter When Lifting Heavy Weights

 

A “spotter” is a person who helps when you train with heavy weights. He or she is there to grab the weight if you are unable to lift it and are at risk of dropping it. Safety is crucial!

 

6.     Never Train the Same Muscles Two Days in a Row

 

Weight training should be performed on alternate days, such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to give your muscles a chance to recover and build. If you want to weight train on back-to-back days, focus on different muscle groups, such as chest, back and arms on Monday, legs and abs on Tuesday.

 

7.     Don’t Train if You Are Sick

 

You don’t want to risk spreading your germs at the gym. And if you need rest, you don’t want to overexert yourself by weight training. Wait until you are well.

 

8.     Be Courteous to Other Exercisers

 

Don’t hog the machines or workstations if people are waiting. Put things back where they belong. Wipe down the machines after using and have a towel handy to stay dry.

 

9.     Cool Down

 

At the end of your exercise routine, cool down to lower your heart rate slowly to its normal level. The best way is to engage in some light cardio exercise or do a series of easy stretching exercises for 10 to 15 minutes. Performing stretches at the end of your routine is optimal for increased flexibility and a reduced risk of injury.  

Eric Mamon

Eric Mamon

Eric Mamon, cPT, CSN, has been Regional Director of HealthEase since 2008. He is a nationally certified Personal Trainer and a certified Sports Nutritionist as well as an Alliance Member with the American College of Sports Medicine. Eric is also an accomplished martial artist and bodybuilder as well as a regular participant in marathons and charity runs.

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HealthEase, Inc. Celebrates 25 Years of Bringing Fitness to Philadelphia Area

Established in 1987, the locally based corporate fitness company boosts employee health WAYNE, Pa – (October 15, 2012) – When companies need solutions for improving their employees’ health and wellness they can turn to a seasoned expert in the field. HealthEase, Inc., a locally based corporate fitness management company, commemorates its 25th anniversary this year. It was established on the Main Line in 1987, with headquarters in Wayne, Pa.
 
“When I first started HealthEase, there were very few commercial fitness centers around,” recalls president and founder Armand Tecco, M.Ed. “I was the fitness director of Club La Maison in Wayne, one of the first health clubs in the region. It occurred to me that companies could benefit from offering programs to help their employees get fit and stay healthy. But they would need someone to provide that service.”
 
The first HealthEase corporate client was Hartstrings, a children’s clothing company based in Wayne. HealthEase designed a small, onsite fitness center for Hartstrings and provided exercise instruction for their employees. Since then, HealthEase has been providing a wide array of services to small and midsized companies as well as Fortune 500 corporations in several states across the country. Among its local clients are De Lage Landen; FujiRebio Diagnostics; and Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP.
 
Managing onsite fitness centers is HealthEase’s core business, but hardly its sole focus. Among its other services are fitness center design and consultation, health & wellness coaching, group exercise classes, educational seminars & workshops, health & fitness fairs; walking programs, health risk appraisals, team building events, and more.
 
“We take a hands-on, proactive, and personalized approach that sets us apart from the competition,” says Tecco. “It’s important to customize our services to suit each client’s particular needs.”
 
And the results pay off for everyone. It’s been well established that healthy employees are likely to incur lower medical costs and be more productive. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that comprehensive worksite fitness and wellness programs reduce health care and insurance costs, lower absenteeism, increase performance and productivity, and result in a positive return on investment.