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How can I help avoid aches and pains as I age?

Keeping an appropriate weight and exercise are two of the best ways to avoid aches and pains. The stress of being overweight affects your entire body. This promotes early and abnormal breakdown of your muscles and joints. Exercise (like 30 minutes of daily walking) causes your body to recover and rebuild into a more healthy state.
Know those little aches and pains you feel in the morning? You could do something right now to keep them from getting worse when you're older.

Just jump to it. Okay, you don't have to literally jump. But do be active. People who pick up their feet and commit to regular aerobic exercise have much less muscle and joint pain as they age.

A 14-year study that followed a healthy over-60 crowd found that consistent exercise -- be it running, biking, swimming, dancing or brisk walking -- led to as much as 25% less musculoskeletal pain down the road, even with high-impact runners. Researchers aren't sure why, but they suspect that exercise's endorphin release may play a role.

Less pain when you're older means a more active and independent life. Here are a few other ways to lower your risk of chronic future aches:
  • Hit the mat. Yoga boosts endorphins and improves flexibility and joint-supporting strength.
  • Cross-train. Mixing up your activities helps keep your back in good shape.
  • Drink green tea. It can help to stave off knee pain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.