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Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Joints

Act Your Age
Protect your noggin -- and all your other fragile bones and joints.
Protect your noggin -- and all your other fragile bones and joints.

­As much as we may like to ignore the fact, none of us are getting any younger. While we may not be able to coax the same performance out of our bodies as we once could, adjusting expectations can help us in our quest to get the best results out of our bodies as we get older.

Many of the activities we engaged in years ago are best left to our memory banks and not our day planners. If the kids or grandkids are roughhousing or playing a game of backyard football, you might want to cheer from the sidelines. Nothing ruins the fun of a contact sport like watching someone roll around on the ground sobbing about their elbow (at least for the person on the ground).

When you pick up new activities, whether it's bicycling, bowling or aerobics, don't jump in with both feet. Take it easy at first, and slowly increase the demands on your body. Wear proper safety gear -- knee pads, elbow pads, helmets or anything else that is called for.

If you like getting on the roof to clean the gutters or patch leaks, it might be time to consider hiring a neighborhood kid to help you out. It can be hard to know when to "hang up the gloves" on a certain activity, but it's better to err on the side of quitting an activity prematurely than it is to put your future well-being in the hands of your local emergency response team.