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13 Tips for Keeping Your Joints Healthy

Posted by Elder Health Plans, May 17, 2018

Many of us notice joint stiffness or pain as early as our thirties, but by age sixty or so, joint health becomes a more pressing concern. Take these steps to promote healthier bones, muscles, and joints… Remember, always visit your doctor right away if your regular stiffness or pain suddenly changes or becomes noticeably worse.

Avoid high heels. A three-inch heel stresses your foot and knee joints seven times more than a one-inch heel. Flats are best, when possible.

Alternate between sitting and standing. Staying in one position for hours is not good for your joints.

Use a computer ergonomically. Sit the recommended 20 to 26 inches from your computer monitor, which should be adjusted at a comfortable height for viewing (you shouldn’t need to look up or down). Use a wrist rest or try different ergonomic keyboards to find one that feels right to you.

Watch your weight. More weight on your joints will add to their strain.

Exercise daily. Choose low-impact activities like walking or swimming.

Warm up and cool down. Warm up your muscles before diving into exercise, and remember to cool down and gently stretch afterward.

Try yoga. Stretching, along with the mind-body connection promoted by yoga, are both good for your health overall.

Spread out the load. When carrying heavy objects, spread the weight across flat palms or your forearms. Avoid positions that place excess strain on your wrists and small joints of your hands.

Avoid caffeine. Excess caffeine might contribute to osteoporosis.

Increase your calcium intake. Eat dairy, broccoli, kale, salmon, and other foods high in calcium. Or, try supplements.

Watch your vitamin C intake, too. Some studies have suggested that vitamin C plays a role in reducing osteoarthritis.

Supplement with glucosamine. Some studies suggest that this supplement helps with cartilage repair and prevents osteoarthritis. Of course, you should talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your regimen.

Make an appointment. The best way to take care of your joints is to talk with your doctor about your concerns. He or she can advise you on diet, exercise, supplements, and techniques like ice or heat for treating sore and swollen joints.

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