How do I Maintain Joint Health?

Erin J. Hill

There are various ways you may be able to maintain joint health, even if you have a family history of arthritis or osteoporosis. Exercise, eating right, avoiding activities which may be hard on the joints, and taking vitamin and mineral supplements are all options. If bone loss or joint pain has already begun, you may also be able to get a prescription medication to help alleviate symptoms.

Young, flexible rhythmic gymnast.
Young, flexible rhythmic gymnast.

Although many believe that exercise is hard on the bones and joints, it is actually one of the smartest things you can do to maintain joint health. Not only does it make your bones stronger, but it also strengthens muscles, which allows them to better support your joints. You will also feel better and have more energy by exercising regularly. If you haven’t worked out in awhile, start off slowly and work your way up to more strenuous workouts.

Glucosamine chondroitin supplements are often taken to help improve joint health.
Glucosamine chondroitin supplements are often taken to help improve joint health.

Eating a diet that is full of vitamins, minerals, and calcium will also help you maintain joint health through the years. You should consume two to three servings of low-fat or non-fat dairy per day, as well as calcium-containing vegetables such as kale or spinach. Aside from helping to keep your joints stronger, eating plenty of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables will help you to stay healthy, making exercise and other healthy habits easier to accomplish.

Kale contains plenty of calcium, which promotes joint health.
Kale contains plenty of calcium, which promotes joint health.

While taking a daily vitamin does not replace eating right, you may benefit from having a multivitamin each day, as well as calcium and vitamin D supplements. Other supplements, such as glucosamine, may also be beneficial if you are trying to maintain joint health. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any new supplement or vitamin regimen.

Walking instead of running may help preserve the joints.
Walking instead of running may help preserve the joints.

It is also important to avoid any activities which may harm your joints. Repetitive motions like operating certain machinery, typing, or running can all wreak havoc on your joints. Instead of running, try walking instead, or use protective shoes and do your best to run on asphalt rather than concrete, because it is more giving and easier on the knees. If you type for work, use a wrist support or be sure to maintain proper form to avoid injury.

If you are already suffering from arthritis or another joint disease, you may benefit from taking certain medications. There are prescriptions available which may help prevent bone loss, as well as those designed to help alleviate pain. Talk to your doctor if you believe you have arthritis, osteoporosis, or if you are at high risk.

Repetitive motions like running can be hard on the joints.
Repetitive motions like running can be hard on the joints.

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Discussion Comments

disciples

I am a runner and I am very worried about developing bad knees later in life. Is there certain ways to run or other exercises that I can do to preserve my knees? I do not just want to avoid pain, I want to be able to run when I am 50, 60, even 70. I am 27 now. What steps can I take to ensure life long knee health? And is there a genetic component to this? I know that some conditions, no matter how hard you try to avoid them, will creep up on you just as a matter of course.

summing

I am interested in natural joint health, particularly a combination of diet and exercise that I can use instead of taking prescription drugs. Does anyone have any experience in this area? What did you eat and how did you exercise. I know that too much of the wrong movements can make the problem even worse.

Belted

I have been taking an over the counter joint health supplement for about a year. It is a mixture of vitamins, minerals and other compounds that are beneficial for joint health.

It has been a huge help. I used to have daily persistent pain, but since I have been taking the supplement and exercising I have been able to alleviate many of the worst symptoms.

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