Exercise and orthopedic health
Take a hike. Choose your favorite spots and walk them at least once a week. Hiking burns calories, strengthens muscles and builds denser bones, while providing interesting scenery and a chance to get in touch with Mother Nature.
Warm up. Don't think about hitting the gym, the pool or the trails (or any exercise for that matter) before warming up. Warming up your body before exercise is like warming your car up in the winter. To keep it running smoothly and for optimal joint safety, start slowly and get up to speed only after your muscles and joints have at least five minutes prep time.
Go for function not fashion. Shoes shouldn't just look good, they should work well, too. Look for flexible, supportive shoes that are squared or rounded at the toe so your toes can move around. A shoe with a rubber sole will give you more cushion. Make sure your shoe is flexible at the ball of your foot, where you push off.
Check in with yourself. Monitor how you're feeling after exercise. Joints still aching two hours after your workout are telling you something. Listen to them and lighten your routine next time.
Be sure to stretch. Stretching isn't just for workouts anymore. Take breaks throughout the day, including at your office, to get re-energized and help keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong.
See a yogi. Yoga hasn't been the hottest trend (for the last 5,000 years) for nothing. Yoga and other forms of gentle exercise like Pilates and Tai Chi strengthen the mind-body connection, allowing you to get your body fit while you get your mind in shape. These exercises keep joints strong and muscles limber while erasing stress.