You can help take pressure off joints by strengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding them.
Here’s just a couple of the exercises recommended by Readers’ Digest Health Solutions: aim for 30 repetitions in one session.
TO INCREASE KNEE STRENGTH & FUNCTION
Lie on your back with one leg bent and the other lying flat on the floor. Flex the foot of the flat leg (ie. point your toes backwards towards your head), tighten your knee so the leg is straight, then lift that leg until your foot is 60cm off the floor. Count slowly to five, then lower the leg slowly, touching the floor with your calf first. Repeat with other leg.
TO SUPPORT THE NECK
Look straight ahead with your chin slightly dropped. As you continue staring straight ahead, lower your head sideways so that your ear moves towards your shoulder (don’t lift your shoulder towards your ear). Bend your head to the other side and do the same.
FOR A STRONG, SUPPLE BACK Sit with legs crossed and hold your feet with your hands. Slowly lean forward, moving your face towards the floor.