The pain you feel in your joints was once an unwelcome stranger. Now, it’s become an unwanted daily companion. Even when you take prescription arthritis medication, you can’t seem to eliminate this debilitating medical condition. And you’re now at the point where it’s negatively impacting your quality of life. Read on to see how nutrition and exercise can help you.
The question is if medicine can’t fully help you, what can?
The truth is, arthritis—or inflammation of the joints—can have many causes, ranging from metabolic abnormalities to the wear of your joints’ cartilage and even genetic factors. However, both nutrition and exercise can drastically improve your arthritis and how you manage it long term.
Here’s a rundown on how healthy foods and daily movement can help arthritis sufferers in 2021 and beyond.
Importance of Nutrition and Exercise
Individuals may suffer from one of two types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system erroneously attacks your joints. This is different from osteoarthritis, where the cartilage responsible for cushioning your bones’ ends wears down with time. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but this disorder predominantly affects the spine, hips, and hands. Fortunately, a healthy diet and exercise can help sufferers of both of these types of arthritis.
Eating healthy foods is essential for arthritis sufferers because a nutritious diet can help you to avoid becoming overweight. Additionally, good nutrtion can help you lose excess weight. Losing even a few pounds may help to reduce the discomfort that arthritis brings, as this decreases the stress placed on the joints.
Exercise is also critical for people who suffer from arthritis, as it can further help you to keep your weight under control. Exercise can also increase your muscle and bone strength, which can help to relieve arthritis pain as well (more on this later).
When it comes to nutrition, one of the smartest moves you can make to keep arthritic pain at bay is to take fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids can help to alleviate the stiffness and pain associated with arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega-3 acids are so effective in arthritis sufferers because they essentially convert into various compounds that are thousands of times more powerful and effective than any original fatty acid is. One type of these compounds is Resolvin, which halts the body’s inflammatory response.
When your immune system is healthy, your inflammatory process will repair damage and protect your body against infections. However, if you have arthritis, your body’s immune response will be overactive, which will cause tissue destruction. Resolvins, however, slow this response.
A diet rich in vitamin D can also help you to combat arthritis, including both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In fact, research indicates that low vitamin D levels are linked to a higher risk of these two types of arthritis.
You should ideally aim to consume around 1,000 IUs, or international units, of vitamin D daily. Some of the best vitamin D–rich foods include oily fish, orange juice, and fortified milk. If you are not consuming enough vitamin D in your daily meals, you should supplement your diet with a multivitamin. Look for vitamins that contain 400 IUs or more. You can also soak in about 10 minutes’ worth of sunshine each day—without sunscreen—to further boost your vitamin D levels.
To further reduce your arthritis issues, you should steer clear of foods containing high levels of trans fats and saturated fats. That’s because chronic inflammation has been linked to saturated fats. Saturated fats are present in poultry skin, butter, red meats, and dairy foods that are high fat. Likewise, arthritis has been tied to the trans fats present in partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils and fried foods. For example, French fries and some brands of margarine also contain trans fats.
On the flip side, monounsaturated fats—such as olive oil—appear to be more likely to avoid increasing inflammation in the joints.
Exercises That Build Strength
As far as exercise is concerned, as mentioned earlier, it’s important that you engage in muscle-strengthening exercises if you are an arthritis sufferer. That’s because strong muscles can support your joints, thus increasing your joints’ stability. This allows you to move much more easily as well as experience less pain.
Examples of strength-building workout activities include utilizing resistance bands or lifting weights.
Exercises Involving Range of Motion
These types of exercises are designed to move your joints through their maximum ranges of motion. They help those who suffer from arthritis by keeping their joints completely mobile, which helps to prevent deformities and stiffness.
Examples of exercises targeting your range of motion include neck and chest stretches, upper arm and shoulder stretches, and lower back and hip stretches. Stretching is a great way to stay flexible.
Try exercises that target your range of motion…
Strength That Builds Endurance
Endurance exercises can also help people who suffer from arthritis. These physical activities are designed to elevate your heart rate for 20-30 minutes and are known to increase your physical strength.
Examples of the top endurance exercises for people with arthritis include CrossFit training, high-intensity interval training, and even cycling or water-based training.
Decrease Your Arthritis Symptoms Through Nutrition and Exercise Today!
Struggling with the pain of arthritis can no doubt be frustrating. However, by developing a careful nutrition plan and daily exercise regimen, you can put yourself on the path to finally experiencing arthritis relief.
Start incorporating Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and the abovementioned exercises and eliminate excess fats. These changes can increase your chances of fighting off the enemy of arthritis in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
About the Nutrition and Exercise Author
We are thrilled to bring you this important information from Erik. Following his advice on nutrition and exercise is beneficial. Please note that if you think you may have Arthritis, your doctor is your best source of information about treatment. We hope you find this article helpful and we thank you for spending time with us today. Wishing you the best of health!
Please note that we are not an affiliate of Arthritis Hope and the appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute an endorsement.