I’m a 50-year-old fitness expert; here’s how I manage menopausal joint pain

Joint stiffness and pain are common problems during menopause. And according to fitness and nutrition expert Zana Morris, declining estrogen and testosterone levels, along with age-related sarcopenia (which is muscle loss to you and me) and increased stress is to blame. All these factors will lead to weaker muscles, poor flexibility and, of course, pain in the joints, Zana explains to HELLO!

The good news is that there are simple things we can do every day to help minimize joint pain and keep our bodies moving more flexibly during menopause. However, Zana, who is also the founder of Strong Nutrients, says that we should make simple stretches and certain exercises part of our routine throughout the day, rather than hoping that a morning stretch will make all aches and pains go away.

Considering we have roughly 650 skeletal muscles in our bodies, no amount of exercise or stretching will help, Zana explains. Stretching can help reduce muscle tension that can pull on your joints, and strength training is essential to strengthening your muscles to maintain that pressure.

Zana Morris is a nutritionist, trainer and author of The High Fat Diet

1. Stretching for joint pain

Zana suggests stretching your quadriceps, the largest muscles in the front of your legs. “Tight quads can stretch both the knees and hips, which are areas often prone to problems during menopause,” she explains. Tight quads also lead to poor posture and can indirectly lead to neck problems as well.

Zana recommends incorporating a simple quad stretch into your routine, along with squats to strengthen your leg muscles, glutes and lower back. By targeting multiple muscle groups, these exercises can help relieve tension and improve overall joint health.

How to stretch your quads

For a simple quad stretch, Zana suggests using a chair for balance, while standing on one leg, grab the ankle or foot of the other, then keep your knees in line with each other and pull your foot as close of your glutes (your bum) as you can. Then, keeping your body straight, gently pull your foot up and back away from your body, as if you were trying to stretch your leg.

TO READ:Over 60? Add this strengthening exercise to your daily routine

2. What to eat for joint pain

When it comes to using nutrition to improve joint pain and flexibility, Zana stresses the importance of incorporating calcium-rich protein foods like yogurt and cheese, along with magnesium-rich sources like nuts and leafy greens. leaf, to support hormonal balance and bone health. . He also suggests increasing your protein intake. Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle as we age, accelerates at this point, leading to weak muscles and joint pain, Zana explains. Protein is the only food group that helps protect and restore this lean body mass.

Zana stresses the importance of diet in keeping joints healthy and flexible during menopause © Poberezhna
Zana stresses the importance of diet in keeping joints healthy and flexible during menopause

Zana cannot stress enough the importance of taking a daily magnesium supplement to help flexibility issues as well. Magnesium is involved in more than 600 processes in the body, including reducing cortisol, helping the body absorb calcium and excrete used estrogen. This means, in plain English, that if you take it, you’ll sleep better, you’ll relax better, you’ll help protect your bone density and your heart, and hot flashes may be reduced or even stopped for some, and as a bonus it is easier to lose belly fat.

INSPIRATION:I’m healthier than ever at 70, that’s how I stay at my best

3. Exercise for joint pain

Finally, Zana says you should prioritize weight training to keep your body flexible. It is essential to stimulate the muscle to repair and rebuild not only to protect its shape, but also its strength, which will support the back and joints, and even improve bone density.

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