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Work Out Your Joints to Prevent Osteoarthritis

Work Out Your Joints to Prevent Osteoarthritis

Exercise can help prevent damage to your cartilage.

When Corey Kluber pitched the Cleveland Indians’ opener against the Minnesota Twins, it looked like a positive start for the Tribe as the two teams vied for the American League Central title. But while Kluber cruised through the first 14 batters, his seven-inning turn on the mound turned into a 2-0 loss.

That defeat won’t keep Cleveland from leaning on his pitching skills throughout the season. ‘Cause they know that under pressure he can excel—and win. Turns out that is the same for your sore joints! Even when they don’t deliver a winning performance (because of osteoarthritis) leaning on their skills will actually keep you in the game longer.

A study by London-based researchers published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage explains that during exercise the cartilage in your joints (think knees and hips) gets squashed, and this force prevents cartilage degradation by suppressing the action of inflammatory molecules associated with osteoarthritis, and by inducing production of molecules that foster repair. In short, when you exercise, you protect your cartilage from damage so it can offer padding and keep you in winning form.

So, you know the drill: 10,000 steps a day; 40 jumps a day (protect your discs); and strength-training twice a week for 30 minutes. Keep track of your fitness progress on the Sharecare app for iOS and Android.

But the big news is that even if you have osteoarthritis, it’s vital that you keep active, pressing that remaining cartilage as you bike, swim, walk, hike and pump some iron. You’ll ease your discomfort if you stick with it.

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