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Published on April 22, 2014

Three Steps Toward Arthritis Prevention

April 22, 2014

Arthritis in the kneeArthritis affects quality of life for approximately 50 million Americans. Be aware of actions you can take to help protect your joints. As you age, the cartilage in your joints begins to break down. While all older adults will experience some degree of cartilage deterioration, those who are overweight, lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle, or have experienced joint injury are at increased risk for debilitating arthritis.

Step 1: Watch your weight. Excess weight places a heavy burden on your joints and can speed cartilage deterioration. According to the Arthritis Foundation, losing as few as 11 pounds can cut in half your risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.

Step 2: Eat your vegetables. A recent study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism found that some vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts – contain chemicals that may reduce inflammation in your joints and slow arthritis progression.

Step 3: Get moving. Regular exercise helps keep your weight down, your muscles strong, and your joints flexible. If you already have some degree of arthritis or joint pain, choose joint-friendly exercises such as walking, biking, swimming, yoga, or water aerobics. Keep basic joint safety in mind during exercise or routine housework. According to the Arthritis Foundation, good practices include flexing your knees when bending, placing a pillow under your knees while kneeling, and straightening your back while lifting.

Looking for a local yoga or aquatic class? KishHealth System Physical Therapy Center offers both. Find out more about these classes and others offered by the health system

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