4. Try Low-Impact Cardio
Cardio work lubricates joints, strengthens muscles around joints, and improves circulation, Millar says. It also helps with weight control, which can ease stress on your hips, knees, and ankles.
If you have any joint issues, choose low-impact exercises like swimming or biking, which put less stress on joints than high-impact activities like running or kickboxing. Shoot for 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise, 3-5 days a week.
5. Stretch After Your Workout
“As we get older, our muscles lose flexibility, and that can lead to more injuries,” Moucha says.
Stretching your muscles when they’re warm, which is usually after exercise, can prevent joint problems. If you feel stiff, stretch during your warm-up, too.
Stretch each muscle 3-5 times. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
6. Prevent Exercise-Related Injury
Warm up for 5 minutes before you exercise. It helps prep your muscles for exercise and makes injury less likely.
Wear protective equipment when you exercise or play sports. Protective pads and athletic shoes that fit well protect your knees from injury and may lower your chances of joint issues later in life. Elbow, wrist, and joint braces or guards lighten the load on your joints.
Don't do the same thing every day -- vary your activities. That's "an excellent way of preventing injuries, as different muscle groups are used during different types of activities,” Moucha says.
7. Lose Extra Weight
Dropping pounds takes extra pressure off your joints, especially your hips and knees. Research suggests that losing weight can also help keep your joints healthy.