Drink water. Working out means your body needs extra water to cool off and keep blood circulating. If you’re dehydrated, you aren’t doing either. Water is especially important for older people, says Bryant, “because as we age, our thirst mechanism becomes less active, and we already tend to be less hydrated.” Drink plenty of water prior to exercise, get another 6 to 8 ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise and then follow the workout with more water to replenish what was lost.

Skip the meal. Unless you are training for a marathon, you do not need extra calories before exercise. Eating less than two hours before a workout means blood flow is concentrating on digestion instead of on keeping muscles warm and bringing oxygen to your body. The result could be cramps and nausea.

Stand up straight. It’s easy to lean on the armrests when using stationary equipment, such as a stair climber, but Jones suggests resisting the temptation. Leaning may feel easier, but she explains, “You’re not using good posture, and that will only exacerbate joint pain.”

Do it right. Make sure you’re using the proper form when doing a move. This is a big one, says Jones, “Because exercise is bone on bone for a person with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA), there is a greater chance of injury. A lot of people use the wrong posture and hyperextend their joints.”

Don’t exercise while in pain. “Pushing through pain is not the thing to do. If your joints are hot or swollen, exercise can increase the damage,” Jones says. And it can cause too much pain. But remember, arthritis pain and pain from a strenuous workout are not the same. A little soreness a day or two after a workout is OK, more than that is not.