5 Tips for Exercising With Rheumatoid Arthritis
5 Easy Ways to Prevent Joint Pain
Want to age well? Forget wrinkles and be kind to your joints instead.
By Nancie George
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Americans are living longer than ever, but lifespan and healthspan — meaning the time spent in good health — aren’t the same. If you’d like to ramp up your healthspan, pay close attention to the body parts that help you move and bend: your joints.
Knees, elbows, toes, hips, shoulders, wrists, head, neck, back, and fingers all have joints — where two or more bones join together. Sadly, one-third of American adults report experiencing some type of joint pain within the previous 30 days. Don't be one of them. Take care of your precious joints with these practical tips.
1. Get plenty of vitamin C.Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, which is part of cartilage. In osteoarthritis — the wear-and-tear arthritis linked to aging — cartilage is destroyed and that puts extra pressure on bones and joints.
Vitamin C can help stave off that process. The recommended amount of vitamin C depends on your age, but it’s typically 75 to 90 mg per day for adults. But don’t overdo it. Too much vitamin C — more than 2,000 mg a day — can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Good sources of vitamin C: citrus fruits like oranges, as well as tomatoes and broccoli.
2. Warm-up.Are you the person who jumps into your workout without warming up? Well, stop it. Warming up helps in a few ways. It gets you mentally prepared, which could help you train more efficiently. Warm-ups also lower your risk of injury and muscle soreness. Before your next workout, try a dynamic stretch — one that involves motion — to slowly warm your muscles.
3. Make a splash.Any exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, which takes excess pressure off joints. But if you’re recovering from an injury or your joints need a rest, try a like swimming.
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Swimming takes a load off your joints and still provides a total-body workout. Other benefits? It’s a heart-healthy activity, and an hour of moderate swimming can burn about 400 calories — depending on your weight and the technique.
4. Perfect your posture.Standing up straight not only makes you look thinner, it also promotes joint health. Good posture lowers stress on the ligaments that hold the spinal joints together, which lowers your chance of injury. Good posture also ensures that bones and joints are properly aligned, and muscles are correctly used. This helps protect joint surfaces, and could help prevent degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
5. Don’t forget about your doc.Schedule a routine check-up at least once a year. Your doctor can check for joint damage and deficiencies that hurt your bone health. Also, tell your doc about any joint pain you’ve had and ask for injury prevention tips.
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