An estimated 46 million people in the United States have arthritis of some form. By the year 2020, this number is expected to reach 60 million. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints. Here are a few tips to maintain healthy joints and protect against injury and disease.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Carrying less weight will help reduce pressure on your knees, hips and back, and can help prevent joint injury.
2. Be active
Sitting or standing for extended periods can cause joint stiffness. Engage in low impact exercises that raise your heart rate and reduce joint swelling – try yoga, swimming, walking or bicycling.
3. Eat right
A diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin C can promote healthy joints, and reduce pain and swelling. A good source of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods such as salmon, flaxseed oil and walnuts. Many experts recommend taking supplemental omega-3 for joint health. Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of collagen that supports joint tissue and can slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Excellent sources of vitamin C are papayas, oranges and brussels sprouts. Vitamin D helps build strong bones, which reduces stress on joints. Vitamin D-rich foods include pure cod liver oil, salmon and milk.