World Arthritis Day is celebrated on 12 Oct to raise awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age.
So what can you do?
Fight Back Against Arthritis
Maintain a good body weight. Excess body weight is one of the best-known and most important risk factors for arthritis. The more pressure you put on your joints, the faster they wear out. Change up your diet by adding in fiber each day and eating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables while limiting refined carbohydrates and fat.
Trade in your high heels. The human foot was not designed to be on its toes all day long, a fact that escapes fashion designers and shoe shoppers. And for some people, high heels will cause trouble. “It’s OK to wear them occasionally, but if used all the time, they can cause a lot of problems.
Do non-impact exercises. High-impact exercise like long-distance running and soccer put a lot of stress on the joints and can wear down the cartilage faster than normal. For those looking to stay active and practice arthritis prevention recommends biking or water exercises.
Use better body mechanics. When performing physical tasks, like lifting objects, how you hold your body (and any weight you’re carrying) matters. Good body mechanics, like lifting with your legs instead of your back, take much of the stress off the joints, he explains. Another recommendations is to carry your purse or other bags on your forearm rather than gripping the straps with your hands.
Avoid injuries. While no one wants to be sidelined by an injury, taking preventive steps helps safeguard your health today and may serve as arthritis prevention in the future. If you’re doing exercise that’s increasing your pain the next day, that’s probably not the right exercise for you. Focus on sports and exercises that will be challenging but safe, and know your body’s limits.
Check your vitamin D. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 60 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, especially. Check your vitamin D levels is a smart move for arthritis prevention you’re taking vitamin D, Zashin recommends having your blood levels monitored by your doctor because too much can be dangerous.
Stay hydrated. Another reason to drink more water: arthritis prevention. The cartilage in our joints is made up mostly of water, which is what makes it such a great cushion for the joints. When we’re dehydrated, water gets sucked out of the cartilage and it’s more easily damaged by wear and tear. Keep your cartilage healthy by drinking water throughout the day.
Arthritis is all too common disease, but you can take some steps now to prevent arthritis later or slow its progression.