It’s that time of year again where we all promise ourselves to make more frequent visits to the gym, eat healthier, and shed a few pounds.
But, how successful is this overdone New Year’s Resolution? Sure, it sounds great on paper but is it really enough motivation to get us to push through the pain and workout or cut out unhealthy food altogether?
As it turns out, there are significant benefits for arthritis symptoms when you eat healthier and get more active.
The Benefits of Eating Healthier
Losing weight by exercising can be one of the biggest factors in easing your symptoms by reducing the pressure on your affected joints. Losing just one pound of weight can result in removing four pounds of pressure off of your knees. Weight loss can also contribute to lower inflammation levels in the body and ease your arthritis symptoms.
Eating healthier can also help control symptoms of inflammation. Foods including fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, and olive oil, can provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
The Benefits of Exercise
It’s important to always follow your doctor’s advice, but for most people with arthritis, exercise can improve your symptoms, your ability to move around, and can help you prepare for surgery and recover from it.
Exercising, even just walking, can help tone the muscles that support and protect your joints and can help ease joint pain. Aquatic exercise can be especially helpful for people with arthritis because it allows you to exercise while taking the weight off of your joints.
Your range of motion can also improve by exercising and doing gentle stretches. Staying consistent with your exercise routine can help improve flexibility in your joints over time. Biking, yoga, and tai chi are other arthritis-friendly ways to stay active.
Not only can exercise help your pain, but it can also help your recovery. Studies show that the more fit and strong you are before joint replacement surgery, the faster your recovery and the quicker you can start your post-surgery exercises.
The key to any lifestyle change is to ease into the changes and to take it one day at a time. Mild muscle soreness or discomfort is normal after a workout, but if you’re experiencing moderate pain in a specific joint area, try to work out another area of your body for a few days. Consistent joint pain during or after exercising may be a sign of damage. Work with Dr. Fuchs and a physical therapist tofind out what exercises may be best, especially before or after joint replacement surgery.
Eating healthier and exercising more can work well in tandem with other treatment plans. Be sure to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician to get the best treatment available.