How to Keep Your Joints Healthy

Most people think about healthy movement as the act of exercising. However, movement translates to improved brain function and thinking, stronger relationships and ultimately living your life’s purpose. It’s no secret: Human life has become structured in a way that makes it very easy to avoid movement.
We sit in cars on the way to work. At work we sit at our desks for much of the day. Then we come home and sit down to relax. Is this perhaps why our knees, backs, necks and shoulders are creaky and stiff and not moving as they originally should?
As humans, we move our bodies to express our wants, needs, emotions, thoughts, and ideas.
This means that how much we move ultimately determines how well we engage with the rest of the world and establish our larger purpose in life. If you move well, you also think, feel, and live well.
What Factors Determine How Well You Move?
While there are universal human movement patterns (walking, squatting, lunging, pulling, pushing, etc.), our specific movement patterns are unique to us, and come down to individual bioengineering.
Your body amounts to a sophisticated pile of interconnected levers:
– Muscles are attached to bones with tendons.
– These tendons connect to two (or more) bones across a joint.
– When a muscle contracts, the tendons pull on the bone.
– That contraction and pull causes the joint to flex (bend) or extend (straighten).
And how your joints move is really determined by the size, shape and position of all of those parts, along with anything that adds weight, like body fat.
– Tall people (with longer bones) may find it harder to bench press, squat and deadlift the same amount as a short person.
– Short people may not run, swim or climb as fast as tall people.
– If you’re bottom heavy, you may have better balance.
When the lower back is pulled downward, it affects all the joints below (pelvis, knee and ankle). And it also works in the opposite direction, where poor ankle or knee movement can impact the lower back.
– If you have wider shoulders, then you have a longer lever in your arms, which means you may potentially throw, pull or swim better.
– If you have longer legs, then you have a longer stride, which means you’ll potentially run faster.
How To Start Moving Better
– Pay attention to how it feels when you move. Pay Attention to your body:
– When you walk or run: How long is your stride? Do your legs swing freely? Do your hips feel tight or loose? What are your arms doing? Where are you looking?
– When you stand: How does your weight shift gently as you stand? What does that feel like in your feet or lower legs?
– When you sit: Where is your head? Can you feel the pressure of the seat on your back or bottom?
– When you work out: Can you feel the muscles working? What happens if you try to do a fast movement (like a jump or kick) slowly, and vice versa?
– Ask yourself if you’re moving as well as you could.
– Do you feel confident and capable & are you ninja-ready for anything?
– Do you have any physical limitations? Do you avoid certain activities because of them?
– When was the last time you tried learning a new movement skill?


Our lives are busier than ever. Trying to balance work, relationships and commitments, all while trying to get enough sleep, eat right and stay active can be challenging. We know it can be especially hard to find time to exercise, but whether you’ve had an active lifestyle for many years or just wanting to kick start your fitness goals, walking is the perfect, low impact exercise that can easily fit into your life. Just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking can increase your cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness, reduce your risk of heart disease, increase your muscle strength and endurance, create a naturally upright posture and improve your spinal health.

Start by setting yourself realistic goals of when you can exercise. If you know you can’t make it to the gym every single day, don’t promise yourself you will. You could start by saying “I will go for a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes, on my lunch break, at least three times this week”. The more planned and thought out your activity is, the more likely you are to stick to it. The great thing about walking is that it is flexible and can fit around you schedule. Here are a few ways to incorporate walking into your everyday routine.

Morning: Starting your day off with a walk is a great way to get your exercise done and dusted early. You might have to go to bed a bit earlier to squeeze in your 30-minute walk, but you will gain the energy you need to kick-start your day and feel accomplished.

In transit: Live in waking distance to the station or never any parking around work? Park a little further away from your destination and enjoy a brisk stroll. You can split your walk up between going from and coming home if you can’t do it all in one hit.

Lunch time: Everyone deserves a break, so commit to not working through lunch, or sitting down the whole time, and go for a midday walk. It’s a great way to clear your head, refresh yourself for the rest of the day, and get some fresh air. Grab a colleague and head out together to keep each other motivated.

Meetings: Is your day filled up with meetings? If you’re able, suggest a walking meeting. Being outdoors can help generate fresh ideas by stepping outside of your regular environment to help spark creativity and open conversations.

Afternoon/night: Sometimes it can take a little while to decompress after work. An afternoon 30-minute walk can help you relax into the evening. Use a walk to catch up with family and friends all while feeling the benefits of walking and exercise.

There are many ways to incorporate walking into your day, it’s simply a matter of finding what works for you, sticking to it, and creating the habit of putting your health first.