Fight Inflammation With A Healthier Lifestyle
Around this time each December, as we move closer to the new year, the winter weather seems to only get colder. And for those whom suffer from joint pain and stiffness, winter often seems even colder. However, those additional aches and pains due to the cold weather may give you the little push you need to finally do something about it. Evidence shows that an overall healthier life style can actually help subside the painful inflammation experienced by those who suffer from both RA and OA. This includes exercising regularly and proper dieting! By taking the necessary steps and precautions, levels of pain can be lowered making for an overall better living experience.EXERCISE
There is the common misconception that exercise should be avoided by those who suffer from arthritis pain and stiffness. In reality, the lack of exercise can actually increase the levels of pain and stiffness, along with the duration of local flares and inflammation. Increasing strength and flexibility is key! By incorporating strength/weight training, range of motion exercises, and aerobic exercises into your weekly schedule you can experience the following benefits:
- Strengthening of muscles that surround/support joints ultimately reducing levels of stress on your joints
- Maintenance of bone strength
- Weight Control/Loss which can reduce amounts of stress on your joints
- Relief of stiffness
However, it is extremely important to speak with your doctor before you begin and in regards to finding a exercise program that will not exceed your limits. Be sure to take the proper steps of protection also. Applying heat before a workout can help relieve pain before your start. Properly stretch and warm up. Lastly, don’t forget to ice! Icing is a sure way to avoid both pain and joint swelling.DIET
Now pay close attention, because this next step is just as important, if not more. Diet! That’s right, it is time to do away with those refined and processed foods. It is no secret that those who tend to eat healthier, tend to reap greater amounts of overall health benefits than those who don’t. Often when changing ones diet, the intended goal is weight control, but a number of other benefits come along with it. Those who suffer from RA or OA can create an anti-inflammatory focused diet by simply increasing and decreasing their intake of the following:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Whole Grains
- Lean Proteins (Tuna, Chicken, Turkey)
- Spices (Tumeric/Curcumin, Ginger)
- Red meats
- Fats/Trans fats
- Highly processed carbs
- Hydrogenated oils
- Refined and processed foods
Being that it can be difficult to meet your everyday nutritional needs, adding supplements to your everyday diet can also be beneficial. Check out these 3 supplements and their effects:
- Omega 3- Fatty Acids/Fish Oil: EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs, but cannot make on its own. With the proper intake, these omega-3 fatty acids can help your body fight inflammation.
- Vitamin D3: Has been linked to joint health and can play a role in reducing symptoms of RA.
- SAM-E: S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e) has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Serves to reduce or eliminate the pain caused by inflammation in the joints due to arthritis. It can also help to increase joint mobility.