As the weather finally warms up, the desire to get outside to overcome the winter blahs sets in.  Before heading outdoors, consider the nutritional needs of the joints, muscles, ligaments and bones to make the transition easier on the body.

According to the Center for Disease Control, greater then 60% of American adults are not regularly active and 25% of the adult population is not active at all.  As a result, we are being diagnosed with chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory ailments — all related to a lack of regular physical exercise.

The Nielsen Co.’s fourth quarter report “Three Screen Report” — referring to televisions, computers and cell phones — stated the average American now watches more than 151 hours of TV a month. That’s about five hours a day and an all-time high. Senior citizens (65 and older) spend 207 hours. That’s about seven hours a day.

Jobs that require sitting behind a desk for 8 to 10 hours a day entail virtually no physical movement at all.  One can almost feel the sludge building-up.

The human body is designed for movement. The more the body moves the healthier it becomes.  With the movement, the muscles contract, creating locomotion by pulling on the ligaments and bones, which in turn increases the blood circulation, providing nutrients to the different body parts. This increased blood flow also collects waste to be eliminated through respiration, perspiration and waste elimination.

A balanced multivitamin and essential fatty acids provide nutrients for meeting the demands of the body. Nutrients can help make the transition from couch potato to a novice athlete. Vitamin C helps make collagen; the main ingredient in cartilage found in the joints and in the arteries. Manganese is an essential nutrient for ligament support and magnesium is a must for the muscles. Magnesium, the number one deficient nutrient in this country, is a natural calmative and relaxant for muscles. Low magnesium levels can acutely contribute to early fatigue, nausea and muscle cramps. Potassium is required for muscle contractions. It is lost through sweat and urine. Zinc aids in post-exertion tissue repair. Heart and skeletal muscles require calcium for contraction.

Engaging in physical activity after an extended sedentary period comes with the thought of muscle soreness. An awesome nutrient that can help alleviate this side effect is MSM, which is a natural pain reliever with no known side effects. For the person diagnosed with arthritis, MSM can be used alone or in combination with glucosamine and chondrotin. These last two nutrients have been studied extensively in Europe and have been found to relieve the discomforts of arthritis and have actually been proven to create new cartilage and relieve arthritic pain in as little as 3 months. The more advanced the arthritis, the longer it takes to get relieve. One major nutrient to remember is water. Being well hydrated in physical activity can help avert damaging the joints, muscle cramps and stressing the bones.

As one contemplates an exercise program remember to pace the activity to avoid damaging the muscle tissues and joints. Have a plan to increase the activity gradually and look forward to a healthier body as the result of physical activity. A mere 30 minutes a day of walking, swimming, jogging, cycling or other cardiovascular exercise can have astounding positive health effects.

This information is for educational purposes and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment.