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No one (or almost no one) doubts that sport is one of the best sources of health. However, it is also well known that if it is poorly done, there are various consequences. Can these be avoided? Most of them can. However, there are several tips for taking care of joints and muscles to do not deteriorate.
Note that this is not part of the test, but it will make your day-to-day life a lot easier.
Why is it important to look after your joints and muscles?
Physical exercise causes natural wear and tear on bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. This is especially true for overweight people or those who play high-impact sports: footballers, tennis players, runners, weightlifters, crossfitters, etc.
Although the body has compensatory mechanisms, we must make it as easy as possible.
Otherwise, due to lack of training, accidents, incorrect techniques, or for many other reasons, the dreaded injuries can appear:
- At the muscular level: bruises, strains, cramps, contractures, strains, tears and complete rupture.
- At the joint level: tendinitis, sprains, breaks, bone fractures, dislocations, chondromalacia, osteochondritis, synovitis, bursitis, etc.
You will surely be familiar with the symptoms: pain, discomfort, stiffness, a feeling of warmth in the affected area, inflammation, bruising and tenderness to the touch.
Hence the importance of taking these tips to look after your joints and muscles and keep them in perfect condition.
It's the best way to prevent physical activity from taking its toll, whether you're a professional athlete or just like going to the gym for a class.
Tips for taking care of joints and muscles in athletes
Warm-up before starting to train
Warming up is essential to prepare the body physically and mentally and to avoid injuries during sport.
- Perform broad and dynamic joint movements "up and down" (from the neck to the ankles). No abruptness
- Combine them with light cardio exercises (jogging, skipping rope...) and low-intensity anaerobic exercises that involve the muscles you will work in the session (push-ups, squats...).
A session lasting 5-15 minutes is enough. The aim is to warm you up, not to exhaust you prematurely.
If you are thinking of static stretching, leave it for the end of the workout. It has been observed that they can have negative effects on muscle strength.
Use the proper clothing and equipment.
Whatever your discipline, make sure you wear clothing designed specifically for it. Make sure they fit you correctly so that you are comfortable and don't cause chafing or accidents.
Shoes, protectors, gloves... it can be absolute chaos to choose the right equipment. Ask for advice in a specialised shop if you have any doubts.
When performing any exercise, you must carry out the movements correctly.
One of the most common causes of injury is poor technique especially when lifting weights (who hasn't complained about their shoulder at some point?).
Ask your trainer or gym instructor to make sure that you perform the training perfectly.
There are also videos on the internet published by professionals that can help you.
Listen to your body and train smart.
It's normal for your muscles to "itch", burn or feel fatigued after you've been training for a while, but only up to a point. If you feel unwell or feel "bad" pain, stop. Don't be a beast.
Be aware of the level you are at and follow a routine adapted to your abilities.
And if you want to increase the intensity of your workouts, do it very gradually. Don't go from 0 to 100 in one day.
On the other hand, remember that being strong (without exaggeration) is the ideal vaccine to prevent contractures and other aches and pains. Don't just focus on cardio and strengthen all your muscles.
Cool down and stretch at the end
Cooling down after a session is just as important as warming up. It promotes the regeneration of muscle fibres and reduces the risk of injury.
- Start with active recovery. Walk gently or do a bit of cycling, elliptical or similar. The idea is to get back to calm. Don't push yourself.
- Then do some static stretching by keeping your muscles tight (no bouncing) for a few seconds. You don't have to go into pain at any point. This will preserve and improve your elasticity.
Relaxes the areas worked
Massages have been shown to help increase flexibility and reduce stiffness. You can do them with a foam roller and products such as Orgono Sport Gel, a natural regenerating gel based on organic silica that decongests and relieves overloads.
Another option is ice baths, known as cold water immersion. There is not much scientific evidence for this, although a meta-analysis concluded that it might also reduce stiffness.
Rest is essential for any athlete.
If you don't give your body time to recover, the chances of ending up with an injury are multiplied (among other consequences).
When you exercise and sweat, you lose fluids. Especially if you're in a hot environment.
We are about 65% water. Our body needs it to function.
During your workouts and the rest of the day, drink at least 2-3 litres.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a good diet makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the impact of exercise on your muscles and joints.
It also has a significant impact on all aspects of your health. You feel more energetic, and your physical performance increases.
- Eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet that prioritises "real" food. In other words, the real thing: fresh meat and fish, eggs, pulses, fruit, vegetables, etc
- Don't neglect protein intake.
- Eliminate or minimise ultra-processed foods, sugars, refined flours and similar products.
Oh, and of course! Tobacco and alcohol have no place here.
Whether you're a hard worker or a more relaxed exerciser, it's always a good idea to take a supplement to help regenerate muscle and joint tissue. It will also boost your performance.
Opt for supplements containing vitamin C and D, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, sulphur, magnesium and glycine.
Silica is also essential, as in its organic form, it increases natural collagen production. It can be found in the following formulas along with other essential micronutrients and actives.
- Orgono Articomplex. A daily maintenance complex that protects joints and cartilage improves muscle function and helps reduce tiredness and fatigue.
- Orgono Sports Recovery Supplement. It is a powerful tissue booster for days when wear and tear is very high.
Follow these 10 tips to take care of your joints and muscles and you will see how much more effective and safe your workouts will be, and you will enjoy them like never before!