May is Arthritis Awareness Month and with that comes the reminder to take care of our joints! Joint health is important at any age. While we may not think about it when we are younger, taking care of our joints and eating a healthy diet is important in preventing and managing arthritis.
Exercise, as well as a healthy diet, is the only therapy that prevents, cures, or maintains all conditions known to man. In regards to keeping our joints healthy we must also look at our weight management. For every pound we lose it takes off four pounds of pressure on a person’s joints. If you’re living with Arthritis or just suffering from joint pain in general, maintaining a healthy weight is important to relieving the stress on y our joints. For those who are struggling to find suitable ways to maintain their weight, start first with consulting your physician. Your physician can help you determine what form of exercise is safe and effective or at least refer you to a provider that can assist with those determinations. Along with an exercise routine it is in the best interest to also work with a registered dietitian. A dietitian can help plan meals, and incorporate other health problems one may be suffering from, or at risk of developing, into a well thought out plan to help the person in need. A dietitian may help with all income levels taking in mind schedules and other daily activities that may limit the type and kind of food that can be prepared.
Exercise that is considered safe and effective for all those suffering from joint pain is any activity in the water. Water aerobics is a great way to maintain your cardiovascular health as well as your strength and flexibility. The water provides a weightless environment and allows your joints to move free from gravity. The hydrostatic pressure, which is the pressure of the water against our bodies, helps us to circulate any water our bodies are retaining internally and moves it to our lymphatic system, allowing our bodies to process and remove it. Another helpful form of exercise for those with arthritis are any activities which help us maintain our strength, our flexibility, and our cardiovascular health in a pain free range of motion. Each person’s limits will be different so it is important to work with a certified personal trainer or health and wellness expert to help make the best determination of what exercise will work best. It is important that even though joints may be stiff and painful to move them daily and complete any exercise routine that is given. While that might seem contradictory, keeping our joints moving is important in the treatment of arthritis. It is also important to teach proper form to all ages so that proper techniques can be executed and joints stay aligned appropriately.
For more information on how you can manage or prevent arthritis through exercise and healthy eating please contact the Greater Naples YMCA at 239-597-3148 or by visiting www.greaternaplesymca.org. Our facility offers a heated, outdoor, salt water pool that offers water aerobics. We also offer chair yoga (called AIM Yoga) to assist with the needs of strength and flexibility.
Greater Naples YMCA | 5450 YMCA Road, Naples, FL 34109 | (239) 597-3148