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Health Outlook

Back to Summer 2021

Keep your joints healthy

We all know that achy and sore joints can get in the way some days. Try these tips for better joint health and flexibility:

Keep moving. The more you move, the less stiffness you'll have. Regular physical activity helps maintain joint function. Movement eases joint stiffness, reduces joint pain and strengthens the muscles that surround the joints.

Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying excess weight places tremendous pressure on your joints. Even slight weight loss can help. Every pound you lose takes 4 pounds of pressure off your joints.

Eat joint-friendly foods. If you have joint pain, try eating foods with high omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, which help keep joints healthy. They also lower inflammation, which causes joint pain and tenderness.

Choose the right shoes. Wearing supportive, comfortable shoes promotes proper alignment of your joints.

Know when to rest. When you get tired, take a break. Plan your schedule so that you have a balance between activities and rest. Feeling exhausted also makes it harder to handle pain, so be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep at night.

Consider supplements. Two supplements credited with reducing joint pain are glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Talk to your doctor and see what supplements may help you.

Try heat or cold therapy. Warm showers or towel-wrapped heating pads or ice packs can help with flare-ups and soothe your aching muscles and joints.

Try physical therapy. If you have joint problems, try working with a physical therapist to strengthen the surrounding muscles. Strengthening muscles helps support the joints.

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