How a Healthy Lifestyle Can Help Arthritis

Arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by the swelling of joints. The swelling often leads to tenderness and joint pain. Arthritis is known to be exacerbated with age, and the two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes joint pain because it causes cartilage to break down, and cartilage keeps the ends of bones from rubbing. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the lining of joints by inducing swelling.

Talk to a Healthcare Professional

Consulting a healthcare professional or your health practitioner before starting an exercise program is imperative for arthritis sufferers. Talking to a professional is an example of taking an active role in your health. Many patients will have a pain management doctor that specializes in alleviating the pain of chronic illnesses like arthritis. These professionals are experts in their field and can accurately choose the treatment that will work best for your pain. Developing a treatment plan can help minimize the symptoms of arthritis and improve the overall quality of life. 

Be Active

Managing arthritis is possible and should be prioritized as the disease is not curable. A great way to alleviate pain from arthritis is by introducing regular physical exercise. Physical activity has been known to reduce pain and improve symptoms for those that suffer from arthritis. Activity level should still follow special instructions from your medical provider. 

Many patients with arthritis find themselves at the mercy of their disease, but this does not have to be true. Patients can still take control of their health by ensuring they get daily exercise and activities. Daily movement reduces stress and boosts moods. It also enables you to have an active role in controlling your health which can be difficult to feel when you suffer from a chronic illness. 

Joint-Friendly Exercise

Not all physical activity is a positive thing for patients that suffer from arthritis. When starting a new exercise regime, you should consult with your physician. It is hard to exercise regularly, but it is even harder for those that struggle with joint pain. Choosing a joint-friendly exercise is imperative and can help improve pain and function. Generally, these exercises are low impact and will not add additional stress to the body. Examples of these exercises are walking, swimming, and biking. Stressful exercises on your joints can increase the odds of developing osteoarthritis. It is also important for those that suffer from arthritis to have adequate exercise to manage other conditions like obesity and diabetes. 

Lose Weight

Weight loss is normally beneficial to most adults that suffer from arthritis. If you are considered medically overweight or obese, this is especially true. Weight loss can help alleviate pain associated with arthritis. 39 of the 58 million US adults with arthritis are overweight or obese, and losing just ten pounds can have astounding positive results on arthritis. A great option for those that struggle with weight loss is to receive weight-loss counseling. 

Arthritis makes physical activity difficult and sometimes painful. Lack of physical activity will lead to weight gain. Weight gain to the point of being overweight or obese makes it difficult for those with arthritis to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additional weight is harder on joints and makes exercise more painful. It becomes an endless loop of weight gain and joint pain. 

A Healthy Diet

Exercise is not the best way to lose weight. The best way to lose weight is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Eating lots of vegetables filled with healthy vitamins and fibers will help keep you fuller and your waist trimmer. Dark leafy greens, frozen or fresh, are great fillers to keep satiety without adding extra calories. Other foods that should be emphasized in a weight loss program are fruits, vegetables, and lean protein such as white fish and chicken. Having a protein and fiber-rich diet is good for your digestion, muscle retention, and weight loss. 

Another great tip is to reduce dairy products and fatty meats. These foods tend to be high in calories, and reducing them in your diet can be a great way to manage weight. Those that struggle with weight loss should also keep a routine sleep schedule and drink lots of water. Sometimes the body can confuse thirst for hunger. In addition, sleeping regularly will alleviate stress and manage hormones. An irregular sleep schedule can cause weight gain and an increase in appetite. Having a healthy lifestyle will be the best way you can take an active stance against the pain and complications of arthritis.

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