Stay in Motion
It is the golden rule of joint health: The more you move, the less stiffness you will have. Whether you are reading, working, or watching TV, change positions often. Take breaks from your desk or your chair and get active.
Padding is your pal. So suit up when you do things like in-line skating or play contact sports. If your joints already ache, it might help to wear braces when you play tennis or golf.
Shed Some Pounds
Your size affects some of the strain on your hips, knees, and back. Even a little weight loss can help. Every pound you lose takes 4 pounds of pressure off the knees. Ask your doctor what is the best way for you to get started.
Don't Stretch Before Exercise
Flexibility helps you move better. Try to stretch daily or at least three times a week. But do not 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.
Which exercise is good? The best choices are activities that do not pound your joints, like walking, bicycling, swimming, and strength training.
Flex Some Muscle
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
Work on Your Range
Are your joints too stiff? You will want to get back as much range of motion as you can. That is 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.
Power Up Your Core
Stronger abs and back muscles help your balance. That means you are less likely to fall or get injured. Add core (abdominal, back, and hip) strengthening exercises to your routine. Pilates and yoga are great workouts to try.
Know Your Limits
It is normal to have some muscle aches after you exercise. But if you hurt for more than 48 hours, you may have overdone it. Do not push so hard next time. Working through the pain can lead to an injury or damage.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis joint pain, a fish dish could help. Fatty cold-water types like salmon and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep joints healthy. They also lower inflammation, which causes joint pain and tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. If you do not like fish you can try fish oil capsules instead.
Keep Your Bones Strong
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 do not get enough calcium from food, ask your doctor about supplements.
Target Your Posture
Stand and sit up straight to protect joints from your neck down to your knees. A walk can improve your posture, too. The faster you go, the harder your muscles work to keep you upright. Swimming can also help.