Activity and joy of life are closely associated with our physical well-being. Hardly anything makes us happier than getting exercise; hardly anything clears the mind more. Our entire body is geared to movement by nature, and it only works properly if we are sufficiently physically active. Really exerting oneself occasionally helps maintain one's efficiency.
But the truth is that modern life offers a high level of convenience. Daily temptations include the comfortable couch, the car or the escalator. Do try to get more exercise into your life in small steps. Surely, every person will find something he or she enjoys in particular, be it taking walks, playing ball games, doing endurance sports or gardening. Taking 10,000 steps a day could be a good target.
A pedometer (step counter) is an easily applied device helpful to this end.
Exercise is more fun when our muscles, joints and bones function smoothly.
In addition to physical activity, it is important to adequately supply the bones, muscles and cartilage with nutrients from our food.
Particularly significant for our entire musculoskeletal system are, for instance, the minerals magnesium and calcium as well as vitamin C. Magnesium and calcium support each other in their work for bones and muscles, vitamin C is important
Always remember: "Life is movement, movement is life!"
Magnesium and calcium are probably the best known minerals, and nearly everyone associates calcium with healthy bones and teeth, and magnesium with muscle function.
But magnesium especially takes on a lot more functions than that. About 300 enzymes need magnesium. It stabilizes our skeleton, is important for the transmission of stimuli from nerves to muscles, is needed for energy metabolism and, of course,
for muscle contraction.
Both minerals are vital for us humans, and their adequate intake must be ensured. Magnesium in contained in many foods, particularly in whole-grain products, nuts and dairy products. Milk and dairy products are also good sources of calcium.
An average of 350-400 mg of magnesium is needed daily, but this requirement may increase in certain life situations such as stress, heavy physical work, etc.
Potentially increased magnesium requirement:
Our body can signal insufficient magnesium supply in a variety of ways. Muscle cramps, in particular night-time cramps in the lower leg are the most common signs.
Calcium is an essential component of the skeleton, and is important for maintaining our bones and teeth. It contributes to blood coagulation and, together with magnesium, is important for muscle function.
Pregnant women especially should pay attention to adequate calcium intake as the baby urgently needs the mineral for the newly growing bone structures.
But also medications, such as cortisone, or excessive consumption of coffee, alcohol or cola beverages, can leach calcium from the bones.
Children have an increased calcium demand due to growth, and so do women after menopause.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is known to most people as support for the immune system, but it can do so much more! It also plays an important role in collagen production and thus cartilage function.
A healthy cartilage layer is sort of a protective padding in joints and intervertebral disks. It coats the joint surfaces with a smooth, elastic layer of collagen fibers that can be up to 5 mm thick. This, together with the synovial fluid, allows a smooth gliding of the joint surfaces.
In order to stay elastic and resilient, the cartilage needs nutrients, such as vitamin C. The joint fluid (synovia) transports the precious nutrients into the cartilage. However, this takes place only by way of diffusion, in other words by strain and relief of the joint. So, exercise is indispensable for healthy joints.
Since ascorbic acid plays a significant role for the cartilage function, citrus fruit and vegetables of the cabbage family, such as Brussel sprouts, broccoli or kale should be a regular part of your diet.
However, since vitamin C is water-soluble and heat-sensitive, vegetables should be cooked gently.