What you eat, your exercise regime and your weight can all greatly impact your joints.
It is time to get active for your long term health and wellbeing. The right activity can ensure and retain healthy and mobile joints for a long and pain-free life. Joint pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia are widespread, US data shows 50% of those 65 and over have arthritis and it is on the rise for younger people too; growth is most rapid amongst adults aged 44 and over.
Don’t take this news lying down. The most effective cure and prevention is exercise, it is your active resistance. Many people worry that exercise aggravates stiffness and joint pain; it doesn’t. But lack of exercise can make joints even more stiff and painful. Keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to support your joints. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints. Exercise can:
• Strengthen the muscles around your joints
• Help maintain bone strength
• Increase strength and energy
• Improve your sleep
• Maintain healthy weight
You are sweet enough
Foods high in fats and sugar, especially processed foods, cause inflammation and painful flares. Whole foods, fresh fruit, vegetables legumes, leafy greens and whole grains lower inflammation.
Be aware that foods that trigger inflammation are very individual. I have come across people whose joint pains are triggered by alcohol, pasta, potatoes – in fact any starch, cheese and milk. I’ve read of cases triggered by eggplants and even chocolate. Monitor your food and joint flares that follow to find your trigger foods and remove them from your diet.
Sugar is a problem, so manage fruit intake and avoid sugary drinks and treats. The rheumatology division at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine notes that many people with arthritis who start eating fewer processed, sugary foods rapidly find that they feel better.
A review last year of people with rheumatoid arthritis showed those on a diet high in lean protein like fish and poultry, greens, beans, veggies and olive oil, had less joint tenderness and greater wellbeing. The found that vegan and vegetarian diets brought further symptom improvement.
Joint pain is faced by millions, but don’t take it lying it down! Get active and resist; make exercise and eating right your joint effort.
Lighten the load
The bigger you are the more stress put on your joints. A study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that among overweight adults with knee osteoarthritis, each kilo shed resulted in a four-fold reduction in the load exerted on the knee. So if you’re overweight, losing one kilogram takes four kilos of pressure off your knees. The more you lose the more you benefit; losing 10 kilos takes off 40 kilos of pressure, quite literally lightening the load.