You probably know someone suffering from arthritis or you may suffer from it yourself. Unfortunately, there is no sure way of preventing arthritis. It sets in when the cartilage in the joints wears away. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions, each having different risk factors, behaviours, individual features, and circumstances associated with it.
Factors like age, gender and family history are some joint pain causes that may make arthritis unavoidable but there are ways to minimize it from an early age. You can change some habits to reduce the risk, delay the onset of arthritis or prevent it altogether.
Let us look at 5 habits that you can adopt at an early age to stay safe from arthritis.
Do a Weight-Check
One of the major risk factors for arthritis includes excess body weight. Your knees support your body weight and being obese or overweight will take a toll on them. The more pressure you put on the joints, the faster they will wear out. An extra pound of weight is equivalent to four pounds of pressure on weight-bearing joints like knees and hips. Overweight women are almost four times more likely to get knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis than women of a healthy weight.
Losing the excess weight will make a huge difference. It will reduce the stress on the joints and decrease their workload. Add more fibre to your diet and eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Limit refined carbohydrates and fat. Include exercise in your daily routine as well.
Most of the times, injuries blindside us as you can never ‘be prepared’ for them to occur. However, you can take preventive steps that will help you safeguard your health today and prevent arthritis in the future. Injuries may cause wear and tear of the joints, therefore you need to do your best to avoid them.
If you exercise every day, make sure your posture is correct and that you use the correct techniques. When you start some new exercise, start gradually instead of pushing your body to its maximum on the first day itself. Don’t overdo the exercises and know your body limits. Pushing yourself unnecessarily will most definitely hurt your joints. Always use proper safety equipment while playing sports, get cleared before beginning any new workout regimen and ask about any special precautions that you should take.
If you suffer from joint pain or arthritis, then use compression gloves as they help in relieving pains, aches and stiffness that are associated with the arthritis of the hands. They provide mild compression for warmth and increase circulation, thus reducing pain and promoting faster healing.
Hydration is Key
Water is called magical elixir for a reason. One of the many benefits it offers to your body includes preventing arthritis. The cartilage in our bodies is made mostly of water, which is what makes them a great cushion for the joints. Dehydration causes the water to get sucked out of the cartilages, thus putting them more at risk for damage by wear and tear. It will increase the arthritis pain as well. You need to keep your cartilage healthy by drinking water throughout the day. Have at least 6 to 8 cups a day and you will reap its benefits in the years to come.
Do Low-Impact Exercises
There are some activities that may predispose you to arthritis and osteoarthritis pain. High-impact activities like long-distance running may put a lot of stress on the joints and wear down the cartilage faster than it normally would, worsening your arthritis. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on exercise completely. Move to low-impact exercises such as swimming or biking.
Better Body Mechanics
When you perform physical tasks like lifting weights or heavy objects, how you hold your body and the weights matters significantly. If you have bad body mechanics, you will be predisposed to develop arthritis. Avoid using body parts improperly to prevent joint damage.
Good body mechanics include lifting with your legs instead of your back as it takes the stress out off the joints. It also prevents arthritis by preserving the cartilage. Another tip includes holding heavy bags on your forearm rather than gripping the straps. If they are too heavy to carry, ask someone who can or use a trolley to move them around to give your joints a rest and avoid arthritis pain.
These changes will help in delaying the onset of arthritis or preventing it and providing joint pain relief, in case you do suffer from arthritis.
Kunal is a young and passionate entrepreneur, fascinated by the workings of the human body and natural solutions for common health problems. He’s single-minded in his aim to make Copper Defence a brand that’s recognised across the globe, by partnering with global brands to make these high-tech materials easily accessible for everyone. If you’d like to get in touch, email Kunal at [email protected] or visit www.copperclothing.com for copper-infused clothing, pet accessories and more.