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Columnist Mary Schmich in her 1977 essay titled ‘Wear Sunscreen’ which was later adapted by film director Baz Lurhmann famously advised to, “look after your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone”.

Better advice has rarely been uttered. Your joints are a finite resource and must be looked after, particularly as those years of activity begin to pile up. Your knees (and other joints like your ankles) can be hugely affected by the routines you put them through, particularly if road-running is a large part of your activity schedule.

However, on a long enough timeline your joints can slowly begin to give way if you don’t give them enough time to recover and there are some best practices you can undertake to give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding the aches that so many of us have to fend off on a daily basis.

Maintain Your Weight

It seems pretty straightforward but the heavier you are the more stress you are placing on your joints with every step you take. Ensuring that your muscle mass is greater than your body fat percentage is the key here. Sue Baic of the British Dietic Association explains: “For every 0.5kg (1lb) lost, we reduce the weight going through the knee joint at each step by 2kg (4.5lb)”

Get Regular Exercise

Strengthening the muscles around your joints is an important way to minimise stress on your knees or ankles. Hip problems can also be remedied by working on your range of motion and strength. Squats and lunges can help with this.

Switch Up Your Routine 

Repetitive stress injuries are a real thing. To make sure that you are not putting undue stress on certain joints or muscle groups, it is important to vary your routine between a recipe of impact and non-impact cardio. Yoga can be a lifesaver here, when coupled with a vigorous gym routine.

Watch Your Diet

Foods high in saturated fat can have a negative impact on the cartilage in your knee, which brings you one step closer to the knee pain. A mediterranean-style diet high in monosaturated fat such as olive or rapeseed oil, along with fruit, nuts, vegetables and seeds. A couple of servings of oily fish per week and a program of vitamin D are great here.

Stand Up Straight

Your posture is an often-overlooked element of your overall wellbeing. Not only does correct posture make you appear more sturdy but it can help reduce joint pain and avoid the affliction of a bad back. Correct footwear for exercise is also a crucial way to minimize impact on joints.