Most people believe that developing arthritis in our hands, knees, and hips is a natural part of getting older. I remember so well my mother’s pain in her hands even when I was a child. Mom tried most everything to alleviate the pain: hot paraffin baths, buffered aspirin every day, she even wore copper bracelets. The only thing that seem to help was regular but gentle exercise, but still the disease progressed significantly over the years.
When I turned 40, I began to see signs that I, too was developing arthritis in my back, shoulders and especially my hands. Fifteen years later I have no progression of this arthritis pain. In fact, I have no pain whatsoever. Over the past ten years I have made a number of lifestyle changes that have helped reverse the inflammation and heal my joints.
5 Tips to Reduce the Risk Of Arthritis
Arthritis is not merely a circumstance of old age. It is a generalized term used for over 100 disorders and diseases, so it is difficult to pinpoint specific preventative steps for everyone. However, these 5 tips will help you support the health of your joints and reduce strain and injury that often leads to inflammation, and subsequently painful arthritis symptoms. Prevention always works better for our health, so these tips are applicable to everyone.
- Maintain or Reduce Your Weight- Have to say it- most people already know this, but carrying extra weight simply leads to extra stress on your joints- especially your knees and hips. Research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may improve your joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50 percent.
- Strength Training- Lifting weights creates denser bones and builds stronger muscles that help stabilize and protect joints. Strength training also boosts your metabolism while decreasing the percentage of body fat. Work with a qualified trainer to assure you are using proper technique to protect your joints. prevent injury and avoid undue joint stress. Doing an exercise wrong is often worse than not exercising at all. Think joint safety!
- Move that Body- Exercise is great for overall health. It is possible to overdo it, however. Pounding the pavement for miles and miles adds enormous stress to our joints. Lowering the impact through aquatic exercises takes the strain off the joints while strengthening your muscles. Hiking and walking builds bone strength as well, and Yoga and other forms of gentle exercise like Pilates and Tai Chi keep joints strong and muscles limber while erasing stress.
- Ditch the Heels- I just might make some enemies on this one! Wearing heels every day increases the force on a woman’s knees by 23%. Research done in 2010 by Iowa State University confirmed this and also found that increased strain was put on a women’s back as a result of wearing high heels. Learn more at at www.naturalnews.com If you must wear heels, save them for special occasions!
- Feed Your Joints- A number of specific nutrients have been shown to support joint health. Strong bodies (and overall joint health) will benefit from bone-building calcium and vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain-relieving vitamin E, folic acid and more. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to relieve pain and stiffness (University of Maryland Medical Center). Glucosamine is involved in the re-building and repairing process of joints. Many people start adding glucosamine to their diet after they are diagnosed with arthritis, although it is best used as a preventative measure for active adults. Curcumin has long been known to decrease the inflammation associated with arthritis. A study co-authored by USANA scientists and published in the Journal of Natural Products revealed that a curcumin phytosome formulation of curcumin named Meriva® delivers a significant improvement in bioavailability compared to traditional curcumin (from turmeric) extracts. Procosa is a product developed by USANA that contains vegetarian glucosamine to help maintain healthy cartilage and joints*, Vitamin C, manganese, and other nutrients to provide additional nutrition essential for joint health* and Meriva® bioavailable curcumin complex to help neutralize cell-damaging oxidative stress.*
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.