Life begins at 40--or so they say. But, when you're living with arthritis--and the subsequent pain, swelling and stiffness--you may feel closer to 80.

Many people with arthritis manage to remain active, and to control pain and inflammation effectively even when they're over 40. Here are a few tips to get your body feeling young again.

Here are 7 ways you can feel fabulous at 40 and beyond:

1. Exercise. Although the symptoms may make you reluctant to exercise, it's essential when you suffers from arthritis. If you haven't signed up for physiotherapy or occupational therapy to cope with arthritis before, it's a smart move to do so when you're over 40.

Exercise helps to keep joints lubricated, and reduce pain and swelling. A physiotherapist or occupational therapist can work with you to create the exercise regimen to treat arthritis.

2. Manage stress effectively. As you age, social, career, and community responsibilities can take a toll and create significantly high levels of stress. Stress increases your sensitivity to pain and influences inflammatory activity in the body if you have rheumatoid arthritis. One study shows that even minor stress significantly varied the inflammation level in the body.

Don't give in easily to stress, especially when you're over 40 and living with arthritis. Actively manage it. Plan, prioritize, schedule, delegate, and resolve. Organization, time management, and support alleviate stress. Also, if any ongoing situation is stressing you out--such as debt or a bad work situation--consider at least three possible solutions for it.

3. Get more sleep. It's a catch-22; both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can disrupt sleep, and a lack of sleep exacerbates arthritis symptoms. Neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, produced during sleep help to improve your mood and block pain. If you're not getting enough sleep, you're missing these benefits. Furthermore, lack of sleep or insomnia intensifies any stress you're experiencing.

Get those 40 winks with better bedtime rituals such as going to bed at the same time each night, darkening your room, using white noise, or taking a warm bath or shower 45 minutes to an hour before bedtime.

4. Try something different. If the same old, same old isn't helping your arthritis, throw in a twist. For instance, try a natural supplement that's shown to improve arthritis symptoms.

Or, try a different holistic or alternative approach to the one you usually use to treat your arthritis. Tai chi, for instance, can reduce pain, stress and falls. Research also shows that mud baths and sulphur packs improved rheumatoid arthritis symptoms for up to three months.

When it comes to fighting arthritis over 40, be open to trying new treatment methods.

5. Eat healthier. Hormonal changes in your 40s may exacerbate your arthritis. They can also zap your energy, making it more difficult for you to fight fatigue, exercise, and to alleviate pain. The Arthritis Foundation recommends increasing iron intake and getting lots of calcium.

To lower cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease, get more essential fatty acids in your diet from sources such as salmon, trout, herring, flax seeds, or olive oil.