While a positive attitude and can-do spirit will do wonders for your joints, please don’t throw caution to the wind. Know your limits and pay attention to potential warning signs as you exercise.
First, avoid any exercises that cause joint pain. Any soreness that lasts longer than 48 hours means you need to take it easier next time you work out. That pain may be telling you that you’ve overstressed your joints, muscles, or tendons, and working through it may lead to injury or damage. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need help from a trainer or physical therapist regarding your lifting technique.
Next, as you exercise, work on perfecting your posture to protect your muscles and joints and avoid unnecessary injuries. When lifting from the floor, keep your back straight and bend at your knees. This allows you to use the stronger leg muscles to perform the lift, which reduces the stress on the discs and smaller spinal muscles of your back.
Lastly, if you do experience a little discomfort after physical activity, icing helps reduce joint swelling and pain. So for a sore joint, apply ice wrapped in a towel or use a cold pack on the painful area for no more than 20 minutes, and do that three to four times per day.