Jump-Start Joint Health

By Cara McDonald

Hip and knee replacements used to be for “old folks,” but new data from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reveals a troubling surge in joint replacement surgeries for the under-65 set. Here are four easy changes to make now so your joints will last a lifetime.


Try: Food-based antioxidants
Why they Work: Antioxidants combat the oxidative stress associated with inflammation and joint diseases like arthritis.
Make the change: Eat 1 cup per day of red or purple fruits, such as berries, cherries, pomegranates, or red grapes, or drink 1 cup juice without added sugar.

Try: Omega-3 fatty acids
Why they work: These polyunsaturated fats are naturally anti-inflammatory.
Make the change: Sprinkle omega 3–rich ground flaxseeds onto your morning cereal, or add a handful of walnuts to yogurt or salads.

Try: Strengthening your quadriceps
Why it works: Strong quads support your knees, reduce pain, and prevent cartilage loss.
Make the change: Sign up for spin classes, and add squats to your warm-ups every time you work out.

Try: Weight loss
Why it works: Each pound of extra weight results
in a fourfold increase in the load exerted on the knee per step.
Make the change: Incorporate low-impact aerobic activity three times a week: Walk, bike, or swim for 30 minutes.