Gardening boosts your mood and fitness, but it can be tough on your body. The right tools and moves can reduce the stress on your joints, says Amy Wagenfeld, associate professor of occupational therapy at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. This spring, tend to your green thumb – and your arthritis – with these simple solutions. Continue reading Gardening Solutions for Achy Joints
Send your winter recipes into hibernation and use fresh finds from the farm stand to whip up these light, nutritious soups. They taste like sunshine in a bowl. Continue reading Celebrate Spring With These Fresh Seasonal Soups
While stretching is an important part of any workout, fitness studios known as stretching gyms make it the focus. Stretching instructors help lengthen and loosen muscles, either working one-on-one with clients and physically adding gentle pressure to deepen stretches, or by guiding a class through a series of stretches with props, such as foam rollers and bands.
“There’s no question that stretching benefits people with arthritis,” says Cory Feger, a physical therapist in Louisville, Kentucky. “It improves range of motion, lubricates joints and increases blood flow to muscles.” But are these new gyms and classes safe for people with arthritis? While they can be useful, Feger recommends proceeding with caution. Here’s how:
- ASK INSTRUCTORS ABOUT THEIR QUALIFICATIONS. What’s their background and experience working with people who have arthritis? Many instructors are personal trainers, massage therapists or yoga instructors but may not have experience with arthritis or chronic pain patients.
- ALWAYS WARM UP FIRST. This allows deeper stretches for a longer period of time and decreases the risk of injury. Get moving with light exercise, such as walking. Or do dynamic stretches, such as leg swings and arm circles, which prepare your body for specific movements.
- GO AT YOUR OWN PACE. Don’t try to keep up with everyone else in a class. “You don’t want to overdo it,” says Julie Jasontek, a physical therapist and supervisor of rehabilitation services at Mercy Health in Cincinnati. This may lead to an injury, such as a strained muscle.
- AVOID BOUNCING. To lengthen muscle fibers and increase flexibility, hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, then release and repeat. These are called static stretches.
- DO STATIC STRETCHES AFTER WORKING OUT. After exercise, muscles are warmed up. Stretching also boosts circulation. As part of a cooldown, it also lowers your heart rate, which may help aid recovery.
- DON’T PUSH TOO HARD. Mild discomfort is normal, but stop if you feel a sharp or intense pain.
- MAKE IT A REGULAR HABIT. To increase flexibility, stretch at least five times a week.
Read the words of this extraordinary Arthritis Foundation volunteer and Walk to Cure Arthritis honoree. Continue reading Embracing the Arthritis Community: What Makes Helen King So Passionate
Standing desks may be the biggest development in office furniture since chairs on wheels. But is working on your feet really better than sitting? Not necessarily, says Alan Hedge, PhD, ergonomics researcher and professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University. Moderation is key. Continue reading Are Standing Desks Good for People With Arthritis
If warmer weather has you looking for ways to forget those winter aches and pains, soak in the joy of the season with some of these activities. Continue reading 8 Arthritis-friendly Activities to Shake Off Winter and Welcome Spring
When the temperature drops, wearing the right clothing when you head out into the elements can ease the ache in your joints. “The best way to beat the chill is by wearing layers,” says Heidi V. Freeman, PhD, an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Layering lightweight fabrics can keep you toasty with less bulk. Here’s how. Continue reading Beat the Chill
Entertaining kids and keeping up with their energy can be a challenge, especially when you have arthritis. But with planning, a positive attitude and some help from others, you can enjoy your time with them without paying for it later in joint pain and fatigue. Continue reading Keep Your Grandkids Busy Without the Fatigue of Arthritis
When you’re sad, stressed or your joints are aching, it might seem like digging into a pint (or half-gallon) of ice cream and not stopping till you reach the bottom will make you feel better. But that’s going to undermine your efforts to avoid inflammatory foods and weight gain. Breaking this kind of pattern may take physical or mental interventions – or both. We asked a registered dietitian and a psychologist how to break the cycle of emotional eating. Continue reading Emotional Eating Can Sabotage Your Arthritis Diet
Winter weather usually means two things for hands: pain and stiffness. Simply running your hands under warm water can jumpstart relief. But for longer-lasting effects, try these hot ideas. Continue reading Hot Tips for Cold Hands