Keep Your Joints Jumpin’ -- A Cheat Sheet For Knee And Hip Health

While a lot of jumping around isn’t exactly good for your joints, you can take steps to protect your joints and improve their health. Be sure to:
Maintain a healthy weight. Every extra pound you gain puts four times the stress on your knees, but even a small amount of weight loss will give your knees relief, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Get regular aerobic exercise, especially low-impact aerobic activities, such as bike riding, swimming or elliptical machines. Those types of exercise will protect the joints and the muscles around them. Thanks to regular exercise, people in their 80s and 90s can still have muscles, bones and joints in pretty good shape.

Include stretching to stay limber. This helps prevent tight muscles, which exert extra force on joints and limit range of motion.

Add weight-bearing exercises, which keep bones strong. Weight-bearing exercises include weight lifting, as well as aerobic activities in which you must support your own weight. Examples include running, skiing, soccer, rock climbing or jumping rope.

Start today to take care of your joints. Prevention starts at a young age. Yes, sports are great, but athletes need to learn how to take care of their joints and, if they get injured, they should seek treatment early so the injury doesn’t get out of control.

If despite it all, your joints just aren’t what they used to be, you don’t have to live with joint pain. Take Gwinnett Medical Center’s free Joint Health Quiz online to assess your pain or download our free Joint Health Decision Guide.


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