Your joints are what keep your body moving. You could have the biggest, strongest muscles in the game, but if your joints are weak and rickety, you don’t stand a chance.
The key tip for healthy joints? Start maintaining them now, even if you don’t feel like they need it.
You’re Not Invincible
Even Nick Norris, co-founder of Protekt, has fallen into the trap of feeling invincible.
“I used to do a ton of pull-ups,” he says. “Repetitive pull-ups, maximum effort sets that killed my elbows. I thought I would have this cartilage in my elbows forever. Now, I do not. I have bone on bone, basically, and an elbow that doesn't straighten out fully. So, I deal with that all the time. Now I'm in the deficit - I'm trying as hard as I can to get my elbow to straighten out and get more length and mobility in it. It's definitely something that I could have avoided if I was more calculated in the way that I approached certain workouts and the use of that joint in particular. I probably would have another two, three inches of length in that arm, which would make a big difference.”
Instead of working from the deficit like Nick with his shortened elbow, preventative care is the way to go.
It’s All About Joint Maintenance
Tim Duba, co-founder of Protekt, is no stranger to creaky joints, either. When it comes to how to keep joints healthy as you age, he stands by proper hydration (which you can easily get through Protekt’s Hydration Liquid Supplement) and stretching pre- and post-workout.
Stretching your body is maintaining your body, and maintaining your body is a huge component of being kind to yourself.
“It’s all about being kind to yourself and knowing when your skill set has reached its limit. About proper maintenance, I wish I had stretched more and given more foresight to how it would affect me down the road.”
It’s also okay to say no to certain workout activities that don’t serve your body - or ones that don’t serve your body on a specific day. When something doesn’t feel right, you have to listen to your gut - because your gut is usually right.
“It’s okay to say no to certain kinds of methods that people are employing if it doesn't make sense,” Nick says. “If it's gonna put you at risk for injury, accelerate joint issues or tendon and ligament issues, don’t do it. I just know what doesn't work for me. I try to listen to my gut in that situation, bow out, and not worry. I won’t let my ego flare up and hammer through it just to prove something to somebody else.”
All the Right Things
We’ve focused on a lot of what not to do when it comes to joint maintenance, but Nick and Tim have some beneficial advice when it comes to what TO do as well. How to keep joints healthy as you age isn’t easy, but it is possible.
“I will say now that I am 40, I am focused on doing all the right things to give me longevity and take care of my joints,” Nick says. “One of those things is a daily morning mobility practice, which just so happens to be a lot of yoga positions. And I love doing it. I do it every single day, and it helps me feel healthier in the morning so everything's warm and ready to go. It's preventative for joint injury.”
As for Tim, he’s all about hydration, which is even better in the form of performance supplements.
“I drink a lot more water, and that alone has prevented a lot of injury for me,” Tim says. “I don't get the same types of muscle tightness. I'm much more flexible. It’s about proper hydration. If I had to pick a game changer that anyone can do without really having to try hard, it would be proper hydration.”
One last note that Nick has to improve joint health - something that’s not about performance supplements or hydrating, but instead how you move.
“Be careful about repetitive injury or repetitive movement,” he says. “If you can avoid it, or limit it, that's the right call. Look for something that's more isometric if possible. Focus on movement and mobility stretching and get the blood flowing. It’ll benefit you in the long run.”
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Protekt products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.