Walk Fido. Pets don't just help your mental health, they also help your physical health. Walking your dog is a great excuse for getting yourself into shape. Use a sturdy leash that is easy to grip, such as a thick leash with a loop handle.

Brace yourself.
Elbow, wrist and joint braces, or guards, not only prevent injury but also reduce the load on joints. Ask your doctor if braces may alleviate some of your joint stress and, who knows, perhaps improve your game.

Get a trainer.
Sign up for a consultation with a trainer who can help show you the right way to exercise to prevent injury and avoid undue joint stress. Doing an exercise wrong is often worse than not exercising at all. Think joint safety!

Don't stomp your feet.
Research shows pounding exercises like kickboxing, step aerobics and more can be tough on joints. Switch to low-impact activities like biking and swimming that offer the same calorie-burning benefits without the painful pounding.

Buddy up. Working out with friends is one of the easiest ways to keep your exercise program on track. Try walking with a friend after work.

Increase your range.
Range-of-motion exercises (such as stretching) are a good way to keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong. Add weights to your workout and you'll tone up, too.

Soak it up. There's nothing like a warm bath to soothe aching muscles and joints after a workout. So go ahead and pamper yourself without guilt – how you treat yourself after exercise is as critical as how you treat yourself during a workout.

Do the write thing. Keeping a journal can be fun and therapeutic. Writing about your deepest fears, feelings and frustrations can help you put everything in perspective. It also helps you easily look back over your victories and successes. Some people with pain have found a measure of relief from writing down their feelings.

Enjoy a massage. Massage can relieve muscle tension and help reduce fatigue. Invest in a professional massage or research information on do-it-yourself tips. Go ahead and treat yourself to a soothing massage after a busy period at work or stressful time. Certain forms of massage, such as Swedish, focus on muscles and joints to improve function.

Let yourself go.
On vacation, that is. Find time to take a break away from your routine – even if you are a stay-at-home mom or you work from home. Don't get caught up in trying to plan an expensive weeklong trip to an island, either. A day or two off to enjoy your favorite activity counts as vacation, too. Experts continue to emphasize the connection between stress and pain.