160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Get moving, Grandma! Exercise isn’t just about improving your heart and fighting flab that comes with aging. It might also be the answer to preventing stiff, achy joints that can lead to debilitating arthritis. An Australian study suggests that the more time older women spend exercising, the better their chances are of staying pain-free from one of the biggest chronic conditions plaguing developed countries. Even exercising as little as one hour and 15 minutes a week can make a difference over the next three years, according to findings recently published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy. “I don’t think the results are suggesting that you should just become this maniac exerciser,” said lead author Kristiann Heesch from the University of Queensland, Australia. “What it does suggest is that just adding some walking and moderate activity to your life can make a big benefit.” Doctors have long encouraged exercise among aging patients to keep off weight, which is a leading risk factor for arthritis, and to keep joints flexible and muscles strong. This is the first study that focuses specifically on middle-age and older women who did not have a history of stiff and painful joints. It looked solely at pain and symptoms reported by more than 8,700 Australian women over a three-year period and could offer a vital clue about prevention.