To make heavy loads easier to handle and to take stress off the smaller joints in your hands, use your largest, strongest joints and muscles by spreading the load over larger surface areas. For example, carry a purse on your forearm or shoulder, rather than in your hand, or use a waist pack. When you lift or carry items, use the palms of both hands (with your fingers straight) instead of griping items with your fingers. Additionally, holding items close to your body puts less stress on your joints. When moving larger objects, slide them whenever possible instead of lifting, and when going up and down stairs, lead with your stronger leg when going up and lead with your weaker leg when going down. Always use a handrail if possible to prevent falls.