5 ways to prevent joint pain when you exercise

We all know exercise is beneficial; but sometimes, it's also painful! However, it doesn't have to be.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - We all know exercise is beneficial; but sometimes, it's also painful! However, it doesn't have to be.

Fitness expert Chris Freytag joined us on KARE 11 Sunrise to share five tips for preventing joint pain when you exercise:

1. Stretch

Warming up before a workout is crucial, but it's equally important to stretch out all the major muscle groups after you're finished. Chris recommends holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds, breathing into it and feeling your muscles relax a little deeper with every exhale.

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2. Get the proper footwear

Everything in your body is connected! Chris says regardless of the activity you're doing, if your shoes don't provide enough stability and cushion against the impact of your movement, your joints can suffer!

3. Incorporate both low and high impact exercise

Variety can keep your body healthy and your muscles engaged without getting overworked. Chris suggests balancing your workout routine with some higher impact work like plyometrics, interval training, or running, and then lower-impact cardio work like elliptical workouts, walking, swimming, or cycling.

4. Break up your workouts to reduce strain

Chris suggests alternating back and forth between upper and lower body exercises to avoid putting too much stress on any one area at a time.

5. Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet

Researchers have identified many foods found in the Mediterranean diet can help combat inflammation, a major cause of arthritis-related joint pain. Chris recommends staples of the Mediterranean diet, which include fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines; antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies like berries, spinach, and kale; and monounsaturated fat sources like almonds, avocados, and olive oil.

Chris has several more suggestions for preventing joint pain when you exercise. You'll find a full list on her website, gethealthyu.com.