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How to protect your joints as you age from arthritis

  1. Plan to quit smoking. Smoking and tobacco use are risk factors for cardiovascular problems to cancer and can hamper your joints.
  2. Replace energy drinks and soda with water. Water makes up about 80 percent of your body’s cartilage (the flexible, connective tissue that cushions your joints).
  3. Don’t let extra pounds overtax your joints
  4. Always warm-up and cool down. Skipping your warm-up can put your joints at a higher risk of strain and overloading on your muscles and joints, putting them at risk for injury.
  5. Listen to your body’s cues. Joint pain after exercise is another as your body is telling you there is something wrong.
  6. Balancing low-impact exercises with your impact activities to strengthen the muscles will help protect your joints.
  7. Increase the flexibility of your joints by warming and stretching before and after exercise. When a joint is stiff, it can alter the stresses seen during activities and it’s more prone to swelling, which can weaken the muscles protecting the joint.
  8. Wear the Right Shoes. Regardless of the activity, shoes should provide cushioning, stability, and comfort while being flexible. Arches on our feet can be high, normal, or non-existent, and knowing this information is crucial for selecting a training shoe. Also, knowing your foot strike pattern, whether it’s overpronation, underpronation or neutral, is necessary for finding the right shoe.
  9. To aide in stretching and improving flexibility get a foam roller
  10. Protect your joints when you are young. Consult your doctor or rheumatologist when in doubt.
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