How To Keep Your Joints Healthy As You Get Older

How To Keep Your Joints Healthy As You Get Older 


As we get older, our bodies change – it’s just something that happens, and it’s ultimately inevitable, no matter what we might think about it. However, one area that often experiences more wear and tear than any other is our joints; from subtle creaking in the knees to stiffness in the shoulders, these signs remind us of the importance of taking care of our joints throughout our lives and really prioritizing them as we get older and definitely when we reach middle age. With that in mind, keep reading to find out how to keep your joints healthy as you age so you’re mobile well into your golden years. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

What Does Joint Health Mean? 

Before you can really understand how to keep your joints healthy, it’s wise to understand more about what joint health means and why it’s so important – that’s going to help keep you motivated and moving forward. The thing to know about joints is that they’re crucial to our overall wellbeing, and they’re the connections between bones that allow for movement and support throughout the body – you can see why it’s wise to keep them in good condition. 


Joints are surrounded by cartilage, synovial fluid, and ligaments, and these things all work together to make all your movements smooth, easy, and painless. So if your joints aren’t working well, your movements will be difficult and painful – not very pleasant at all. 


The thing is that as we age, sometimes this kind of deterioration in joint health is going to happen, and the reasons for that are:

Cartilage Degeneration 

Over time, the cartilage that keeps your joints protected and cushions the ends of the bones can wear down, and when that happens, the pain and stiffness in your joints will start to make itself known. 

Synovial Fluid Changes 

The synovial fluid that lubricates and nourishes joints can – sometimes – reduce in quality and quantity with age, and that means there will be friction between joint surfaces, which will be painful and cause reduced mobility. 

Muscle Weakness And Imbalance 

Weak or imbalanced muscles surrounding the joints themselves can place a lot of stress on those joints, which won’t just lead to discomfort, but to potential injury as well. 

Inflammation And Arthritis 

Chronic inflammation and conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can add to your joint problems and cause pain, swelling, and stiffness, and overall your joints just won’t work how they’re meant to anymore. 

What Can Be Done? 

Now you know what can and maybe will affect your joint health as time goes by, it’s good to be as proactive as possible and learn about ways to keep your joints functioning properly as you get older. 

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Excess weight is bad for your health in general, especially when you think about your heart and the extra pressure it will be put under. However, your joints can also be put under pressure, and any extra weight can mean your weight-bearing joints (knees, hips, and spine, for example) can be damaged and become unhealthy. 


When you maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet, enjoying treats in moderation, and exercising regularly (most of which we’ll discuss in more detail later in this blog post), you can reduce the pressure on your joints and reduce the risk of joint-related problems. 

Do Low-Impact Exercises

Regular physical activity is absolutely vital for keeping your joints nice and healthy, and ensuring you can be mobile as much of the time as possible and for as long as possible, but you will need to make sure you’re careful when it comes to choosing the type of exercise you do. 


If you want to take care of your joints, you’ll want to do low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, cycling, and yoga, and you can even learn about the benefits of squats, for example. The key is to choose low-impact exercises (like the ones mentioned above) that also give you good heart benefits, and then you’ll be taking care of your entire body at the same time without having to resort to putting too much strain on your joints. On top of all this, these activities also help improve circulation, strengthen supporting muscles, and give you better joint flexibility, so they’re a great idea. 

Do Strength Training 

We’ve mentioned strengthening your muscles a couple of times, and that really can be a big benefit if you want to protect your joints; it’s really the key to giving them the support and stability they need. 


So, when you’re working out how to work out, you should include strength training exercises that target major muscle groups, like lunges, leg presses, resistance band exercises, and those squats we talked about earlier. As long as you focus on proper form and you don’t do too much too soon (start slow and gradually build up), you should be safe and reap the benefits when it comes to your joints as well. 

Prioritize Joint-Friendly Nutrition 

A balanced diet rich in nutrients that work towards joint health has to be a priority – it’s a great way to alleviate inflammation and it will also keep your cartilage nice and healthy. What you’ll need to do is incorporate foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (you can find it in fatty fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, and plenty more), collagen-building nutrients (vitamin C is a great example), and antioxidants (found in fruit and vegetables) into your meals. Do that and your joints will stay healthier for longer. 

Practice Good Posture 

Although what you eat is important, and getting exercise is crucial, there is more to keeping your joints healthy, so make sure you get all the facts. One thing that can help for sure is maintaining a good posture when you’re standing or sitting, as that will minimize stress on your joints. Look for ergonomic furniture for your home and office, as that’s specifically made to support you and your joints, but also be careful when you’re lifting heavy objects (always use your legs, not your back), and don’t stand or sit for too long in one position (not only is it bad for your joints, but it can lead to obesity and blood clots too). 

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated and drinking enough every day is another good way to ensure you have good joint health – hydration will help keep your synovial fluid just that – fluid. Since that’s what cushions and lubricates the joints, you won’t want our synovial fluid to dry up or you’ll be in pain and your joints will be harder to move, so always sip water throughout the day – it’s great for your joints, but it’s also good for your overall health, plus it’s easy to do. 

Take Regular Breaks 

If you just keep pushing yourself physically, you’re going to cause yourself an injury at some point, and it’s highly likely to be your joints that suffer the most. It’s a good idea to make yourself a promise that you’ll listen to your body’s signals, and if you feel any pain or discomfort when you’re exercising (or even just going about your day-to-day chores), take a break and change the way you’re doing things. Hopefully it’s just a temporary setback, perhaps caused by lack of hydration or tiredness, but by taking a break you might have prevented a nasty injury. Just remember to get medical help if the problem goes on too long. 

Final Thoughts 

Prioritizing your joint health as you get older is a priority you can’t afford to ignore, and by making sure you do as many of the items on this list as possible, you’ll be in a great position to keep as pain-free and mobile as you can

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