Weight loss and arthritis are inversely proportional. psoriatic arthritis In other words, the more weight you lose, the less arthritis pain you will experience.
Regardless of how much you weigh, losing just five to ten percent of your current weight will take enough stress off your joints, you will immediately notice a big improvement in how much pain you feel in your joints.
Here’s a scientific factoid to help you stay motivated to lose weight: for every pound you lose, you are taking 3 pounds of pressure off your knees when you walk!
One way to lose weight is to exercise more. However, there is a common problem among arthritis sufferers that you may need to overcome first. If you have stiff and achy joints, you may not feel like exercising.
It is human nature to avoid pain so many arthritis sufferers end up being couch potatoes because it hurts when they use their joints and exert themselves.
To make matters worse, they usually start to gain weight because they aren’t as active as they used to be. Sometimes a combination of the weight gain and the inactivity makes them depressed and they end up eating more than normal.
Therefore, they gain even more weight!
The situation described above is very common among arthritis sufferers and it is a vicious circle that you simply MUST break if you want to lose weight and significantly decrease your arthritis pain!
Weight loss and arthritis is possible if you do exercises that minimize the impact on your joints so you don’t experience as much pain when you are doing the exercises and you don’t cause more pain than before you started.
Below are some tips that can make exercising much easier if you have arthritis:
Tip #1. Walk With Walking Sticks
A walking stick is longer than a cane and will take a considerable amount of pressure off your knees, especially going downhill. You can buy a wooden walking stick or, if you want something a bit more fancy and lighter, you can opt for a trekking stick made of light-weight metal like aluminum with a carbide tip.
If you buy the collapsible type, they fold up small enough to stick in a purse or backpack.
Tip #2. Water Exercises
Exercising in the water takes a great deal of pressure off all your joints because the water itself supports the weight of your body. Many communities now have a recreation center with a heated pool where you can walk in water, swim laps, do stretching exercises, take water aerobics, take water yoga, or play water polo or other fun water games.
This is also a great way to make friends who are in the same situation as you and this can inspire you and help keep you motivated.
Tip #3. Walking On Softer Ground
Many people walk on concrete sidewalks. This is very hard on your joints. Try to find a softer surface to walk on such as wooden track or a hard-packed dirt nature trail. If you live near a beach, walking on the harder sand is very forgiving to the joints.
However, don’t try to walk long distances on the softer sand as this can actually exacerbate your arthritis problems.
Tip #4. Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi
Yoga, pilates, and tai chi all offer a method of increasing your metabolism, working your muscles, and stretching without the impact that most other types of exercise have on your joints.
Yoga is particularly good because you can almost always easily modify an exercise if you have decreased range of motion. Some yoga classes are specifically designed for those who have arthritis and/or joint injuries.
The exercises listed above have added benefits as well. They will help you improve your circulation, maintain and potentially increase your range of motion, and strengthen the muscles around the joints.
These benefits will lessen your arthritis pain and will also make it easier for you to exercise more.
Of course, weight loss and arthritis should also involve eating better. Some people try to make this more complicated than it needs to be. You simply need to eliminate processed foods from your diet and eat more fresh vegetables busting with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber plus reasonable portions of high quality protein and fats.
Try also to eat fresh fish, especially salmon or other cold water fish like trout, a couple of times a week.
Fish is leaner than most other sources of protein so you’ll automatically reduce your calories. Fish also contains high levels of omega-3 that makes weight loss easier and helps with joint pain.