A joint is the part of the body where two or more bones are connected. Joints have cartilage that allow bones to move smoothly against each other. It is important to keep our joints healthy in order to do our daily physical activities, exercise and play sports. Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints. It can range from mild to severely painful and debilitating. It can be caused by joint stress, old age, and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. But even young people can have arthritis. Healthy habits, appropriate physical activities and proper diet are necessary for joint health and will help prevent and control arthritis. Healthy habits Get accustomed to a daily routine that is less stressful on your joints. Use tools such as a can opener instead of your hands. Unnecessary reaching, stooping and bending can be avoided by using labor-saving devices such as automatic toilet bowl cleaners and specialized kitchen gadgets. Make use of your stronger joints by pushing the door with the side of your arm. For those with weak hips and knees, use your stronger leg first when going up the stairs and use the weaker leg first when stepping down. Home modifications such as putting casters on chairs and other furniture, using a shower stool and having a walk-in tub may be useful especially for those with chronic arthritis. Organize work areas by keeping commonly used items within reach. Choose comfort over fashion! Wear comfortable, padded shoes instead of high heels. For clothing, wear those that do not need ironing. If you smoke, now is the time to quit! Healthy joints need healthy bones and smokers have a higher risk of having osteoporosis and bone fractures. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Ask a friend or relative to do specific tasks that can be stressful for your joints. Consult with your primary provider if you have joint pains. If necessary, seek the help of a physical therapist for joint problems. Physical Activities Exercise strengthens muscles and bones but it can be stressful for the joints. Choose low-impact activities such as swimming, walking on a level path, using a stationary bike and rowing. Increase range of motion by doing stretches in order to improve strength and flexibility of muscles and ligaments. Use lighter weights at the gym and warm up prior to exercising. Some exercises may do more harm than good. If you have joint problems, do not do deep squats, deep lunges, deadlifts and other activities that may cause you to stomp your feet. Choose a personal trainer that will work around your joint issues and not push too hard. Stay active. Even when at home or at the office, move around and stretch every 15 minutes. Having joint problems is not an excuse for inactivity. Acute injuries need rest but chronic joint issues are worsened by lack of exercise. Diet Certain foods are better than others in boosting your immune system, fighting inflammation and improving joint health. Eat more greens. Dark leafy vegetables such as kale, bokchoy and collared greens are rich in antioxidants linked to joint health. Broccoli is high in calcium, vitamin K and sulforaphane, a compound known to prevent osteoarthritis. A calcium-rich diet is important in building strong bones. Low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt, as well as canned salmon are great sources calcium and vitamin D. Foods rich in heart-healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids have both cholesterol-lowering capabilities as well as anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for those with joint issues. Fish such as tuna, mackerel, herring and salmon have high omega-3 fatty acid content. Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, flaxseed and soy can also counter inflammation through their omega-3 fatty acid content. Fruits such as cherries, blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates contain anthocyanins that can curb inflammation. Turmeric, cinnamon and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Citrus fruits and red peppers have high vitamin C content. Aside from having antioxidants that can combat inflammation, vitamin C promotes collagen formation which is needed for a well-functioning joint. Health Supplements Health and vitamin supplements are helpful and may be even necessary for those who have limited diet and food resources. Daiwa Health USA has a joint support bundle that includes Daiwa Joint Health, Plasmanex1 and Daiwa Super Krill Oil. Daiwa Joint Health contains Univestin, a natural, plant-derived product that is shown in scientific research to manage inflammation and may help to significantly relieve joint pain and stiffness. Plasmanex 1 has Bacillopeptidase F, a natural soy peptide known to improve circulation. It has also been reported to improve muscle and joint stiffness. Daiwa Super Krill Oil contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants that promote both cardiovascular health and joint health.\n \nThese statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Daiwa Health Development does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. \n \nSources: “12 Best Foods for Arthritis.” Arthritis.org, Arthritis Foundation, www.arthritis.org\/health-wellness\/healthy-living\/nutrition\/healthy-eating\/12-best-foods-for-arthritis.\n“16 Joint-Protection Tips.” Arthritis.org, Arthritis Foundation, www.arthritis.org\/health-wellness\/healthy-living\/managing-pain\/joint-protection\/16-joint-protection-tips.\n“Healthy Joints Matter.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2 Dec. 2020, www.niams.nih.gov\/health-topics\/kids\/healthy-joints.\nJennings, Kerri-Ann. “Foods for Your Joints: Cherries, Oatmeal, Salmon, Walnuts, Kale, and More.” WebMD, WebMD, 22 Jan. 2014, www.webmd.com\/arthritis\/features\/joints-food.\n“Protecting Your Joints.” Harvard Health, Harvard Health Publishing, Sept. 2020, www.health.harvard.edu\/staying-healthy\/protecting-your-joints.\n“Simple Tips to Protect Your Joints.” Harvard Health, Harvard Health Publishing, Aug. 2014, www.health.harvard.edu\/pain\/simple-tips-to-protect-your-joints. Sunagawa, Yoichi, et al. “Effects of Products Containing Bacillus Subtilis Var. Natto on Healthy Subjects with Neck and Shoulder Stiffness, a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Crossover Study.” Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, vol. 41, no. 4, 2018, pp. 504–509., doi:10.1248\/bpb.b17-00780.\n“Univestin: Accelerated Action, Lasting Comfort, Long Term Safety.” Unigen.