Healthy Ways to Reduce Your Arthritis Risk
Arthritis is the inflammation of joints and surrounding tissue that can cause debilitating pain and stiffness. This chronic disease affects roughly 22.7 percent of all U.S. adults and can affect your ability to do normal everyday tasks like tying shoes, walking, and holding a phone. While you may not always be able to prevent arthritis, you can reduce your risk by practicing a series of healthy lifestyle behaviors.
Here are six healthy and natural ways to prevent the onset of arthritis.
Strength training, aerobic activities, and stretching are all forms of exercise that can strengthen and stabilize the muscles surrounding your joints. Exercise can also help you lose any excess weight that may be putting undue stress and pressure on your joints. Stay physically active doing a range of different exercises you find enjoyable, and reduce your risk for arthritis in the process.
Eat Inflammation-Fighting Foods
Did you know that some foods can naturally combat inflammation? Eating anti-inflammatory foods can reduce your risk for many diseases in addition to arthritis, including diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
Nuts, berries, leafy greens, and fatty fish like tuna and sardines are just some foods loaded with antioxidants, compounds, and nutrients that fight inflammation. Stay away from fried foods, refined carbohydrates, soda, dairy, and processed meats like sausage and bacon, since these foods can actually drive inflammation to worsen joint pain.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying excess weight can put wear and tear on your joints — especially your knees, which are responsible for supporting your body weight. But losing weight can lessen the pressure on your joints and make you less susceptible to arthritis.
Exercising regularly and eating healthy foods aren’t the only ways to maintain a healthy weight. Getting plenty of sleep, managing stress, and reducing your alcohol intake are other effective ways to maintain a healthy weight and stave off weight gain.
Manage Your Blood Sugar
People who suffer from diabetes are found twice as likely to develop arthritis as those without diabetes. That’s because high blood sugar levels support the formation of stiff cartilage and drive cartilage loss. If you have prediabetes or diabetes, take great care to control your blood sugar. If you don’t have diabetes, reduce your risk for this disease by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.
It’s not always possible to avoid injuries when you’re working or playing sports. Fractures, dislocations, and strains can damage the cartilage in your joints to increase the risk for arthritis. But you can reduce the severity of any injury by wearing protective gear and safety equipment when engaging in certain activities. For instance, wear padded gear to protect your joints when playing contact sports like football, hockey, and soccer.
Use Proper Form
Over time, using the improper form when exercising, running, or lifting weights and heavy objects can put wear and tear on your joints. For example, bending down to lift heavy boxes using your back instead of your hips and knees can lead to arthritis. Demonstrate proper form at all times, and either ask for help from a fitness professional or watch YouTube videos if you need to correct your form.
CubeCare provides primary care and specialist services to help you and your family manage chronic diseases like arthritis. If you are exhibiting signs of arthritis, our primary care doctors can properly diagnose your condition and work with you on developing a comprehensive treatment plan. Contact us today to request an appointment and begin treatment.
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