Arthritis is a chronic condition that affects the joints, making it difficult for them to move and causing pain. It can be caused by injury or overuse of a joint, but often there’s no clear cause.
Although some forms of arthritis are mild and will go away without treatment, others are severe and can have significant effects on your quality of life. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent arthritis from happening in the first place!
Here’s our list of 10 ways you might be able to avoid this painful condition altogether:
- Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly has so many benefits, and can help you live a longer, healthier life. You’ll need to find something to do that you enjoy, but once you do it will be worth it. Exercising regularly may reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. It can also help in weight management and if you’re trying to get pregnant it can help increase fertility!
- Lose weight if you are overweight
Exercise and a healthy diet help strengthen your bones, which becomes more important as you get older as the overall amount of bone in your body decreases. Keeping this loss to a minimum can help prevent osteoporosis, a condition where the bones lose their density and become weak and brittle.
- Get enough rest
Lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, so it’s important that you get enough each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a day—so aim for at least eight hours if possible!
- Be active
Being physically active can help keep your bones healthy and strong as you age, but it is particularly important if you are overweight or obese. Active people have a lower risk of developing arthritis later in life than those who don’t exercise regularly! Even running for just 10 minutes at a time a few times each week can make a difference.
- Eat foods high in vitamin D and calcium
There’s evidence that keeping your levels of vitamin D and calcium healthy can help prevent osteoporosis, so it’s important to get enough of both nutrients from diet or supplementation. Foods rich in these nutrients include milk, dairy products, fish, and leafy green vegetables.
- Get tested for vitamin D deficiency
If you live in a cold, northern climate or spend a lot of time indoors, your risk of developing osteoporosis is higher—and even if you eat foods full of calcium and vitamin D, if your body isn’t absorbing them properly because you are vitamin D deficient, you might not have the bone strength that you need. For this reason, it’s important to get tested for low levels of vitamin D and supplement if necessary!
- Wear good shoes
If you spend a lot of time walking or running on hard surfaces, wearing shoes with heels higher than two inches or soft soles can put extra pressure on your joints. Over time, this can cause arthritis to develop in your knees and hips. To help prevent joint damage, wear shoes with firm heels and flexible soles that support the arches of your feet.
8. Use correct posture when sitting or standing
Slouching over a computer all day or constantly bending your knees can put unnecessary pressure on your joints, which can lead to arthritis. To help prevent pain and stiffness later in life, make a point of sitting up straight and keeping your knees apart while you’re standing.
9. Try not to smoke or drink too much alcohol
If you do either—or both—there’s a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis, especially if you don’t exercise regularly.
- Stay active by doing things you enjoy!
As we get older, it can be tempting to stop exercising altogether or to do less challenging activities such as walking or swimming because the joints hurt after bending and moving. However, the best way to ensure that you maintain your mobility and don’t lose bone density is to find things that you enjoy doing—and then do them on a regular basis!
Arthritis is a disease that affects many people worldwide. It can be very painful and inconvenient. And, you might not want that for sure. Bearing these reminders in mind can help save you from danger!
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