How to keep your joints healthy: 6-step guide

Cycling in Majorca 2015

Imagine yourself not being able to walk or cycle? Unable to be active, doing things that you love? I am not talking about disability here. I am talking about injury and joint problems. It happens. All the time. Don’t wait for this to happen to you. Do everything you can to keep your joints healthy today and keep in mind that healthy joints are keeping you active. They are vital to your health so don’t you think you should give them more attention?

My story

I’ve been there. Unable to walk properly and cycle. The knee injury left me frustrated and sad but I didn’t give up. I continued with my rehab exercises until things got better (it was a long recovery). I can now walk and cycle ok but my knees are not what they used to be (I still get knee pain sometimes). Damaged cartilage will never get better, it will only get worse with time.

Vrsic Pass - on top. It's not all what it seems..

It’s really important that you try and keep your joints healthy so you can stay active and do the things you want, independently, for as long as you can. Here are my top tips on what you can do:

1. Prevent injury

This is the most important thing you can do. If you can prevent injury you are ahead of the game. I wrote the whole article on this topic before so do check it out and read all the tips on how to prevent sports and exercise injuries.

2. Be active

It’s funny, exercise can give us injuries and pains but at the same time it’s vital to be active to keep your joints healthy. Inactivity creates weak muscles which result in joints taking more strain and becoming more susceptible to damage. That’s why I am always active. I need to keep muscles around my knees strong so that they can support my knees better and keep the kneecaps aligned. Strong muscles are helping me be pain-free most of the time.

Martuljek Waterfall 1

3. Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight puts extra strain on your joints and this increases your risk of developing osteoarthritis (the most common joint disorder, which is due to wear and tear on a joint). If you are overweight try to lose some weight. According to Liquid Health shedding 11 pounds cuts your chances of developing osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%.

4. Eat healthy, well-balanced diet

Make sure your diet contains enough fruits and vegetables and choose whole grains where possible. Aim for two portions of omega-3 rich fish every week – research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in joints and may help lower risk of arthritis (1). Also, include beans and pulses in your diet as these are a great source of protein which helps body repair itself.

Cacao fruity quinoa porridge

Don’t overdo on sugar as it causes inflammation in your body and can contribute to joint pain (2).

Following a healthy, well-balanced diet is good for your whole body, including your joints. Like this, you will ensure your body gets a variety of nutrients which will help keep your joints healthy.

5. Focus on foods promoting healthy joints

Certain foods contain more nutrients promoting joint health than others. To keep your joints healthy include more of the following in your diet:

  • antioxidant-rich foods (help body fight free radicals which could be damaging to joints):
    – fruits such as grapefruit, papaya and oranges for vitamin C
    – foods high in vitamin E: avocado, sunflower seeds, peanut butter
    – selenium-rich foods: brazil nuts, oats, brown rice
  • omega-3s: salmon, sardines, flaxseed oil, walnuts
  • calcium-rich foods: sesame seeds (tahini), sardines, pulses, dried figs, kale, almonds

Quick and healthy baked salmon dinner

If you or somebody that you know already suffer from osteoarthritis check this article for more information on which foods may help.

6. Supplements for healthy joints

We all know that sometimes it’s difficult to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet. Adding more health foods to support joint health may also not be all that easy and in this case it’s good to supplement.

Here are some of the most common supplements which people use today to help them keep their joints healthy and pain-free:

Omega 3 oils

Omega 3s are essential fatty acids which your body cannot make. If you don’t eat fish and other foods rich in omega 3s you are not getting enough of omega 3s so you should supplement. You can either go for good quality fish oil or vegetarian omega 3 oils such as flaxseed oil.

When you are very active and you’ve been over-exercising omega 3s will help decrease inflammation in your joints and reduce the pain (4).  


Cartilage and bones are made up of proteins such as collagen and elastin. Collagen is an essential ‘ingredient’ of a joint cartilage as it helps to repair and prevent the deterioration of the joint. Some studies have shown that supplementing with it for joint pain and arthritis is beneficial (5).


Glucosamine is naturally produced in the body and plays a key role in building cartilage. Over time, the body decreases production of glucosamine and it’s thought that by supplementing this can be rectified. Some studies have shown positive effects of supplementing with glucosamine but some haven’t shown any positive results (6).

I remember buying glucosamine for my mum in the past. After a few months of taking it she reported improvement in her knees. She continued to take it for a long time as she was convinced it really helped her knees. 


Chondroitin is a major component of cartilage and it occurs naturally in the body. As a supplement it’s commonly taken together with glucosamine as it’s believed that this combination is more effective at providing pain relief (7).


MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic compound containing sulphur which helps to lower inflammation and restore healthy bodily tissue (8). It’s an important ‘building block’ for healthy bones and joints. There is evidence that MSM may have a moderate effect in improving joint pain and swelling as well as general functional wellbeing in people with osteoarthritis (9). When combined with glucosamine this effect may be greater.

These are just some of the supplements which may help keep your joints healthy and improve joint pain. There are also other supplements to be considered, just take a look at this page.

If you are concerned about your joints and want to learn more about how to look after them visit Liquid Health website. You may also want to take a look at their joint care liquid supplements as these are better absorbed than conventional supplements.



*This post has been written in collaboration with Liquid Health

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  1. Some really good tips here! Speaking from my own experiences, number 2 is vital!
    I used to get really sore when playing football after taking knocks and pushing myself. That was until I started to do some strength training around the knees and hips. The extra stabilisation really helped!

    1. Yes, strong muscles really make a difference at supporting joints so strengthening exercises should be a priority for anyone who is getting joint pain.

  2. I have a dodgy knee and a dodgy back so I know exactly how it feels when you’re restricted with your fitness and exercise activities because of your health and it can be incredibly frustrating. You’ve offered some great tips here. I think eating well is really important for a healthy body and a healthy mind and addressing my food choices is something I’m working on now. I use strapping for my knee to enable me to keep active and I’m doing some alternative exercising to cycling at the moment to address y back issues. SUP yoga is working wonders for me! I think sometimes you just need to look carefully at what you’re doing and adjust it for a while until you’re back to full health.

    1. May I ask how did your back problems start? I recently started having some back ache but I think it’s because of my poor posture when sitting at the desk for long hours. I am glad you liked my tips. Yes, eating well is really important for healthy joints. Certain foods can improve your condition (anti-inflammatory foods such as fish) while other foods can make things worse.
      I started doing some yoga recently for my back ache and it does help, but haven’t tried SUP yoga yet, it’s actually the first time I hear about it, it sounds something worth giving it a go!

  3. It’s a very detailed post Petra! Some good research 🙂
    I’ve had issues with my knee after pulling a tendon. I had pain on and off for years, and I was really concerned that I’ll have more problems during pregnancy, because of the weight gain. Somehow the pregnancy not only didn’t make the problem worse, it seems to have got rid of it! I think it’s because the whole body becomes more flexible in preparation to giving birth. Whatever was causing my discomfort must have moved.

    1. I am glad you liked the post Joanna. It’s interesting to hear how pregnancy helped to get rid of your knee problem. Maybe the hormones helped?

  4. Having a chronic joint condition, looking after my joins is so important! Great advice here. My joints, although will never be ‘fixed’ are so much better now that I have proper control and strength in my muscles.
    Natasha |

    1. Looking at your site I could never tell you have a chronic joint condition, you are so flexible and you look so healthy! It’s good hear though that you are managing your condition well which enables you to do things that you love.

    1. Yes, looking after yourself is key. Without this your age will quickly catch up with you!

  5. Good stuff!

    Turmeric/curcumin is supposed to help with the inflammation that can cause joint problems I think.

    Although I think whole grains cause inflammation so you might want to cut them out too!

    1. That’s very true, it’s been proven that it helps with joint problems. It works better than some painkillers. I didn’t know that about whole grains but it’s something I will look into, thanks!