arthritis-friendly gardening hacks

Gardening Hacks

Love fall gardening, but find it painful with arthritis? Try these hacks to avoid straining joints.

If You Can’t Crouch Down

Hack: Go vertical. Wall gardens are easy to tend while you’re standing or sitting up. Buy one ready-made or make your own by hanging plastic pots on a wall. “Keep the plants between waist and shoulder height,” says Julia Henderson-Kalb, an occupational therapist at Saint Louis University in Missouri. 

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cheribundi and arthritis foundation

Nutrients in Tart Cherries Can Help Fight Arthritis Pain

Though living with arthritis is the pits, life can be better with a bowl of cherries. Specifically, tart cherries, which are different from sweet cherries and not usually eaten in their fresh state. They are popular in juices, smoothies, baking and recipe creation, including cherry pies, cherry desserts and other cherry-based concoctions. Several studies have linked the consumption of tart cherries to decreased inflammation and inflammatory-related conditions like arthritis. Continue reading Nutrients in Tart Cherries Can Help Fight Arthritis Pain

infusion water

Infuse a Little Zing into Your Water

Hot summer days call for a tall glass of something cold. Your healthiest option? Water.

Not only does it have zero calories, “for those with a chronic condition like arthritis, water also helps in lubricating the joints, so you can move more easily, and helps to flush out the kidneys, so your body can work more efficiently,” says registered dietitian Lyssie Lakatos, with Nutrition Twins consulting in New York City.

How much should you drink? It varies by person,  but aim for about half your body weight in ounces. For a 140-pound individual, that would be 70 ounces (about 9 cups daily), but the water content in other beverages and foods also counts.

Not a water lover? Infuse it with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. “Infusing water will add flavor, which gives you a little more motivation to drink up,” adds registered dietitian Tammy Lakatos Shames, Lakatos’s partner in Nutrition Twins. To start, try these antioxidant-rich combos.

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menopause arthritis connection

The Menopause-Arthritis Connection

Cheryl Koehn, 56, was surprised that information about how menopause might impact her rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – and vice versa – was so hard to find. “So many of us go through these profound life experiences in units of one,” says Koehn, who co-authored the book Rheumatoid Arthritis: Plan To Win (2002, Oxford University Press). In fact, living with inflammatory arthritis can affect how women experience menopause and their health risks.

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trampoline workouts

Are Trampoline Workouts Safe with Arthritis?

Mini-trampoline classes, also called “rebounding,” have gotten buzz lately. During class, each person jumps and runs in place, often to music, on his own trampoline. Fans say these fast-paced workouts torch calories and strengthen muscles with less impact than on a hard surface, says physical therapist Scott Euype, education director at Cleveland Clinic’s Rehabilitation & Sports Therapy.

However, you should be cautious before hopping on this bandwagon. If you jump too high or fast, the force may harm an already inflamed or damaged joint. Plus, “the landing surface is unstable, so you could turn an ankle or hurt your knee,” says Mary Ann Wilmarth, owner of Back2Back Physical Therapy in Andover, Massachusetts, and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. Check with your doctor before you try rebounding. (Avoid it if you’ve had joint replacement in your feet, ankles, knees or hips unless your doctor has given the OK.)

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protein for arthritis diet

How Much Protein Do You Really Need in Your Arthritis Diet?

From granola bars to pasta, the flood of products touting high protein might have you wondering if you should be getting more protein. For most Americans, that’s probably not the case, and the packaged products filling grocery shelves may not be the best sources, because many high-protein packaged foods are also high in added sugars and calories.

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joint friendly grocery shopping

5 Ways to Make Shopping Easier

Having arthritis can seriously affect your daily errands and plans. Here are some tips to help make shopping less painful and stressful.

Plan Ahead

Before you leave for the store, prioritize what you need to accomplish. If you have multiple errands to run, rank the importance of each stop in case pain sets in and you need to head home. You can also map out your route, from the farthest to closest stop to your home. Remember to consider time of day and traffic patterns. This can help you to keep the time and stress of being on the road and standing in lines to a minimum.

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