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How Arthritis Affects Weight Loss
How Arthritis Affects Weight Loss

What is Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects millions of Americans. It is the most common form of arthritis and is caused by years of wear and tear on the joints. Other forms of the disease, like Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis, are autoimmune disorders in which your body’s immune system attacks your joints. Rheumatoid and Psoriatic arthritis progress differently than Osteoarthritis, which develops slowly and usually begins later in life. Osteoarthritis typically affects middle aged to elderly individuals.

Hands with Rheumatoid arthritis and stress ball

Arthritis and Decreased Mobility

Arthritis can make it hard to lose weight. Osteoarthritis may cause knee pain making it harder to walk, jog, and squat. It can affect the hips and change how you move around and bend at the waist. Arthritis can even make it difficult to lift objects. The combination of chronic pain, decreased mobility, and less range of motion can have a huge effect on your daily life, your fitness level, and can ultimately make it harder to lose weight.

How your Weight Affects Arthritis

While wear and tear causes Osteoarthritis, other factors like being overweight can contribute to the issue. When you are overweight your joints are supporting a heavier load than they were designed for, leading to an increased rate of joint degeneration. According to experts, just 1 pound of excess weight translates to 4 pounds of pressure on your weight bearing joints. So, a person who is 20 pounds overweight is putting an additional 80 pounds of pressure on their knees, potentially damaging them prematurely.

Losing Weight to Help Your Joints

Losing weight can help reduce joint pain from arthritis and drastically improve your health. Losing weight means that you will put less stress on your joints and slow the rate of natural joint decay. It also means you will be more mobile. With more mobility it will be easier to lose more weight and further decrease the pressure on your joints. This way you can be healthier now and remain healthy in the future. According to healthcare professionals, losing weight can lower your risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help prevent, treat, or reduce the symptoms of gout, lupus, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

There is no special diet to reduce the effects of arthritis. However, managing your weight is a good start. By getting the proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy body, you can alleviate joint pain. You may find it helpful to sit down, set fitness goals, and evaluate your caloric intake. Many people succeed at losing weight just by counting calories and aiming for a caloric deficit, or burning more calories than they consume. However, this may not be a suitable option for everyone. You should experiment with different strategies to find what works best for you. Start by testing out a formal diet, dining out less, or cutting out excessive sweets. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s sustainable. Being healthy is a long-term journey, so you need to find solutions that will last.

Exercise As Arthritis Treatment

Along with healthy eating, increasing your physical activity will be a crucial step towards a healthier body. Since Osteoarthritis affects the hips, knees, and shoulders, incorporate stretching and light resistance training to help protect your joints. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, as it will loosen your joints, and light resistance training will build the muscles around your joints. Both stretching and resistance training reduce your risk of injury and improve your overall mobility. Just be careful not to overdo it and damage your joints further by overworking yourself.

Other workouts like low-impact cardio exercises may help you lose weight while being gentle on your stressed joints. For example, water aerobics and swimming are very effective, as they double as cardio and resistance training. Other exercises like cycling, elliptical, and rowing machines are examples of workouts that help you burn fat and won’t stress your joints. Also, don’t underestimate the power of walking. According to the American Heart Association, taking a daily walk can boost your stamina, mood, improve your blood pressure, and significantly reduce your chances of developing heart disease. Walking is simple, doesn’t require any equipment, and can easily become a part of a daily exercise routine.

Establish Lasting Healthy Habits

Being overweight and having arthritis go hand in hand. While it may be difficult to remain mobile with joint pain, there are still ways to lose weight while suffering from osteoarthritis. Doing so will help reduce your joint pain and improve your overall health and well-being. So, adopt healthier eating habits and aim for a caloric deficit. Also, incorporate low impact cardio, stretching, and light resistance training into your workouts to burn fat, loosen your joints, and strengthen the muscles around them. With consistency, you will be able to achieve a healthier body, get lasting results, and find joint pain relief.

What is Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects millions of Americans. It is the most common form of arthritis and is caused by years of wear and tear on the joints. Other forms of the disease, like Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis, are autoimmune disorders in which your body’s immune system attacks your joints. Rheumatoid and Psoriatic arthritis progress differently than Osteoarthritis, which develops slowly and usually begins later in life. Osteoarthritis typically affects middle aged to elderly individuals.

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All content on InGoodHealth.co is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Consult your healthcare provider for medical advice, diagnosis and treatment.

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