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The most common form of arthritis affecting people today is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease and it is the biggest cause of disability among adults. But this number is expected to skyrocket in coming years as the growing numbers of baby boomers retire. Still, young people can also acquire osteoarthritis from severe joint injuries but it remains a major health concern for older persons.

Investing a little time in developing a good weight-bearing low-impact exercise and stretching plan can add up to great results when it comes to staving off arthritis pain. Strong muscles help protect the joints from wear and tear, and the movement keeps joints flexible.

Consequently, preventing arthritis is not an exact science, but physicians have discovered a few ways to lower your risk. Here is how:

1. Do not weight around

The single most important measure anyone can take to prevent osteoarthritis of the knee is to lose weight if they are overweight. Extra weight puts extra stress on your knees. That extra pressure can slowly but surely erode the cartilage in your knees, leading to arthritis.

2. Stretch those muscles

Any kind of stretching is good as long as you do not bounce, which can lead to a muscle pull.

Try to hold a slow, steady stretch for 15 to 20 seconds, then relax and repeat. It is best to flex up by stretching before any exercise, especially running and walking. But it is also a good idea to stretch each day. Ask your doctor to teach you stretches that focus on potential arthritis trouble spots, such as the knees or the lower back.

3. Walking is always the best exercise

Take a good long walk at least three times a week or participate in a step-aerobics or low-impact exercise routine maximum results. There is no proof that running is bad for the joints, but remember, it may aggravate an injury if you already have one. Just remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

The bottom line is that of all the healthful habits, exercise is the most important. This is because people are designed to be active. Hence, it is really important for people to exercise in order to stay healthy and keep those joints free from wear and tear.

Just keep in mind that the unexercised body, even if free from the symptoms of illness or problems like arthritis, is not at its full potential.

You should really check out this interesting infographic made by the Stannah Stairlifts, because learning to understand and identify the common symptoms of arthritis is the key in actively participating in your own health care.

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