Winter weather is right around the corner, and while it’s tempting to huddle up on the sofa on cold days, arthritis knows no season. A lack of activity can cause your joints to become stiff, so move it or lose it. Exercise eases arthritis pain, increases strength and flexibility, and boosts your energy. Studies show that people with arthritis and related diseases – including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia – benefit from regular exercise. Exercise lessens pain and improves your overall quality of life.
Our Jingle Bell Run events are right around the corner, and whether you’re prepping to participate in our 5K, or exercising in your neighborhood, taking a few simple precautions can help control your arthritis pain and keep you active and outdoors throughout the colder months.
Continue reading 10 Tips for Cold Weather Exercise with Arthritis
Gripping, lifting and carrying are essential for dozens of daily tasks, so it’s important to do them in a joint-friendly way to avoid pain and injury. Carole Dodge, an occupational therapist at University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, offers this advice.
Continue reading 5 Tips to Reduce Joint Pain With Smart Everyday Moves
Is arthritis pain keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep? Is daytime fatigue bringing you down? Exercise can help. It’s been proven that even light exercise can help you get the rest you need.
Continue reading Move More, Sleep Better
Standing up and walking around for just two minutes every hour may help you live longer. That’s good news as evidence continues to mount that prolonged sitting shortens longevity and further increases the risk for several chronic conditions that commonly occur with arthritis, including diabetes, kidney problems, obesity and heart disease.
Researchers looked at data from devices that gauge activity levels worn daily for up to a week by 3,626 people in a national health survey. They measured how much time each day participants spent in sedentary and in various low-intensity activities (such as standing) and light-intensity activities (such as walking casually) and moderate to vigorous exercise (such as brisk walking or lifting weights).
Continue reading Two Minutes of Activity an Hour To Live Longer
Study after study has touted the benefits of walking for arthritis. But has your walking routine started to feel a bit … routine? You’ve tried taking different routes and walking with a friend, but it still feels a little ho-hum. Or maybe your doctor has suggested that you start a walking program. Try these creative twists to keep walking interesting. As always, if you’ve never exercised before, talk to your doctor before starting any fitness program.
Continue reading Beat Boredom With Two Walking Routines for Arthritis
Treadmills seem simple, but they can be hazardous, particularly for people with joint or balance issues. Trying to catch yourself when you lose your balance can result in muscle strains or injury in almost any joint, says physical therapist Mary Ann Wilmarth, CEO of Back2Back Physical Therapy in Andover, Mass.
“Injuries can go all the way up the kinetic chain when people slip and try to recover by catching themselves. This can mean foot injuries, strained or sprained ankles, shoulders and wrists – as well as the back and hips if you’re twisting as you lose balance,” she says.
Continue reading 10 Tips for Using the Treadmill Safely with Arthritis
Getting ready in the morning can leave you feeling worn out before the day even starts, especially if morning stiffness creates difficulty with grooming and dressing. Follow these tips to make your mornings less painful.
1. Prep at night. If you’re typically less stiff in the evening, assemble your outfit and grooming needs at night before bed (and set up the coffeemaker, if that’s an important part of your morning). Lay out your supplies and clothes in the order you’ll need them.
2. Sit and shower. To avoid falls in the shower, sit on a waterproof chair. You can buy one at a medical supply store or use a sturdy lawn chair.
Continue reading 9 Tips to Make Your Morning Routine With Arthritis Easier
To minimize trauma on your body and joints while cleaning, first warm up by walking around the house. Then follow these joint-friendly easy cleaning moves.
Common mistake: Bending from the waist.
Typical tasks: Unloading washer, dryer and dishwasher; gathering and picking up items; washing dishes; ironing; cleaning under furniture; scrubbing tubs; making beds.
- Follow the old saying, “bend with your knees, not your back.” Slightly flex knees, and keep a hollow in your back.
• When standing, minimize back pressure by placing one foot on an elevated surface, such as a stepstool or bottom shelf.
• When unloading, use a “golfer’s lift.” Simply kick back the leg opposite your extended arm.
• Kneel or get help for floor-level or awkward tasks.
Continue reading Protect Your Joints With These Housecleaning Tips
In a perfect world, pain wouldn’t exist, our weight would be optimal and we’d enjoy daily exercise and have energy to spare. But the world is not perfect, and sometimes our bad habits get in the way of our best intentions to live a healthy life. You can make small changes toward adopting a healthier lifestyle and reducing your arthritis symptoms. Along with adopting the healthy habits in our previous blog post, make an effort to break these 5 unhealthy habits.
- Eating over-processed foods.
Sugar and white flour – and the overabundance of them in processed foods – can lead to weight gain, which is hard on sore joints. Replace them with fruits, nuts and whole grains. A good rule of thumb, says Rachel Brandeis, a registered dietitian in Atlanta, is to indulge in foods with fewer than 10 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber per serving. You’ll feel full on less and prevent weight gain. Continue reading 5 Bad Habits to Drop for Better Arthritis Management
Preparing healthy, nutritious meals is important for fighting inflammation and keeping healthy, but cooking can be daunting when your knees are aching or your fingers are stiff. No one would blame you if you’re tempted to pick up fast food or if you call in an order for pizza, but if you do that too often, health goes down and weight goes up. Instead, try these shortcuts that help make cooking with arthritis easier.
Batch cook. Prepare double portions or even enough for the whole week. For example, cook two or more chicken breasts at a time and refrigerate the leftovers to use in salads or sandwiches the next day. You can also freeze the extras, and use them when you’re not having a good day.
Consider convenience. Try fresh or frozen pre-cut vegetables and fruits.
Stock the crock. Place meat or poultry, pre-sliced vegetables, spices and liquid in a crock pot; turn it on and hours later enjoy a hot cooked meal – and only one pot to wash.
Continue reading Arthritis-Friendly Kitchen Tips