Over 4.6 million Canadians have arthritis. That’s one in six Canadians aged 15 years and over. Despite the staggering statistics, it’s important to know that being diagnosed with arthritis isn’t a death sentence. In fact, plenty of people live an overall healthy life with it.
Several arthritis patients succumb to medications and pain relief pills all too soon. However, there are other ways to continuously live a good life with such a condition. For instance, knowing what to eat and incorporating exercise can already make a big difference.
Before we let you in on nutrition and diet tips for arthritis patients, it’s critical to inform your doctor about the diet and exercise changes you’re about to make. Otherwise, what you’re bound to do may worsen the situation.
That being said, here are some of our top tips we highly recommend.
- Commit to low impact physical activities
The biggest mistake you can make is to go for exercises that are far too intense for your weight bearing joints. Remember, what you’re after is a routine that will maintain your strength, improve your mood and relieve your joint pains.
Stick to low impact physical activities such as walking, swimming, aqua aerobics and cycling but only on a recumbent bike.
- Incorporate exercise in your daily routine
Once you’ve found your low impact exercise, it’s time to stick by it. The thing about sweating it out is that it should be done regularly. Your muscles need strength and your mood and energy need constant boosting. Just because you have arthritis doesn’t mean you can’t stay healthy.
Be sure to exercise regularly. This will help relieve the pains in your joint without the need for medication. If it comes to a point that your condition worsens, then do consider taking a pain reliever. Otherwise, stick to the natural means of empowering your body.
- Don’t forget your Omega-3s
Arthritis is attributed to inflammation of the joints. That’s why one of the best ways to combat it is to minimize the likelihood of it happening. Fortunately, Omega-3 is scientifically proven to relieve inflammation and lowers your risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Some foods that are rich in Omega-3 are mackerel, tuna, salmon, cod liver oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds and anchovies. So don’t skip on it. Incorporate it in your daily diet.
- Limit or eliminate offending foods
The last thing you want is putting bad food into your system. Not only could it make your condition worse. It could also open doors to other health problems that could’ve been completely avoidable.
As early as now, eliminate or limit offending foods in your diet. Processed meat, refined foods, processed grains, foods high in sugar, and foods high in saturated fat are out to make you feel worse. Stick to what is fresh, light, whole and healthy.
- Be conscious of your actions
Your weight-bearing joints are what you need to be most careful of. On a daily basis, it’s critical that you are conscious of your physical actions and ask yourself: How is this going to affect your body?
Next time, you may want to slow it down with shoveling, carrying children or groceries and be more gentle on yourself when you get out of the bed in the morning.
- Stop smoking
It’s a bad habit that’s extremely hard to break. However, smoking has been linked to worsening arthritis in multiple studies. It aggravates joint damage and inflammation.
So drop the butt and stop smoking. If you’re finding it challenging to eliminate it all together, gradually remove it from your system. Plus, constantly remind yourself that stick of cigarette can mean the difference between living a better or poorer life.
- Shop smart
Eating fresh and healthy shouldn’t always be expensive. Sadly, many continue to believe this.
All it takes is a little effort to shop smart and for the best quality money can buy. Know which fruits are in season. Freeze your vegetables and herbs. Buy only the freshest, organic meat you can in your store. Try your best to limit or get rid of packaged foods in your list. If prices seem steep in your store, perhaps it’s time to make a change and find somewhere else to shop.
- Do some yoga
Yoga has increased in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. It helps people find their balance, empower their bodies and maintain their inner peace. The Arthritis Foundation highly recommends yoga for people with arthritis. Its gentle practice can highly benefit your overall mind and body wellness.
- Stretch as far as you can
Stretching has been proven to relieve joint pains and lessen its likelihood. Doctors recommend those with arthritis to have a good stretch each waking day and every time before exercising.
Talk to a qualified therapist about the best stretching routines people with arthritis can benefit from.