The golden rule of joint health is that the more you move, the less stiffness you’ll have. Whether you’re reading, working, or watching TV, change positions often. Take breaks from your desk or your chair and get active. Arthritis is one of those diseases that sneaks up on you slowly then all of a sudden you find yourself experiencing frequent painful aches in your joints. You probably shrug it off and take an over the counter pain reliever.
Your size affects some of the strain on your hips, knees and back. Even a little weight loss can help. Every kilo you lose takes pressure off your knees. Flexibility helps you move better. Try to stretch daily or at least three times a week. But don’t do it when your muscles are cold. Do a light warm-up first, like walking for 10 minutes, to loosen up the joints, ligaments and tendons around them. Get stronger to give your joints better support. Even a little more strength makes a difference. A physical therapist or certified trainer can show you what moves to do and how to do them.
If you have joint problems, avoid quick, repetitive movements. Are your joints too stiff? You’ll want to get back as much range of motion as you can. That’s the normal amount a joint can move in certain directions. Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend exercises to get yours where it should be. Calcium and vitamin D can help. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but other options are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale. If you don’t get enough calcium from food, ask your doctor about supplements. It’s normal to have some muscle aches after you exercise. But if you hurt for more than 48 hours, you may have overdone it. Don’t push so hard next time. Working through the pain can lead to an injury or damage.