While it might not be impossible to avoid age-related
aches and pains in your joints, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer.
In fact, even if you have arthritis you can still
improve your joint health by making some changes to your lifestyle. It might
seem like a lot of work at first, but better joint health means you can go
through your daily routine with ease.
Don’t tackle all of these changes at once. Instead,
implement them slowly into your life as you’ll be more apt to follow through.
The last thing you want to do when suffering from
joint pain is move around. However, doctors agree that exercise can actually
improve joint function and reduce inflammation.
When choosing an exercise, go for low-impact cardio
such as swimming or walking while also incorporating some strength training
workout as well.
Make sure to start slow in the beginning as your body
will need some time to adjust. It might be worth your time and money to get a
personal trainer who specifically works with seniors. If your gym doesn’t have
one, you can always look on the Internet for options.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. A diet full
of vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat won’t necessarily ‘cure’ your joint
pain, but it can help you manage it.
At the very least, you’ll want to reduce the amount of
processed foods you eat as those can increase inflammation. You can do this by
replacing things like cake or cookies with fruit and drinking plenty of water.
There might not be a single food that will heal your
joint pain, but there are a few that have been known to reduce inflammation:
- Red peppers
- Kale and other leafy greens
While it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from food, you can always take a supplement to ensure you’re getting everything you need to promote your joint health.
Manage Your Weight
It definitely gets harder to lose weight as you age for a variety of factors, such as slower metabolism and health and mobility issues. Unfortunately, being overweight can put a lot of stress on your joints, which can make normal joint pain more unbearable.
As you would expect, more joint pain makes it more
difficult to move around, leading to a vicious cycle. It’s no surprise that the
prevalence of obesity increases in people over 65.
While it might be harder, losing weight when you’ve
over 60 is not impossible. By following the first two steps in this list,
you’re already on your way to shedding those excess pounds.
If you need additional help, you can enlist
professionals such as a nutritionist and personal trainer to get the most out
of your diet and exercise routines.
You probably know that smoking can cause lung cancer
and damage your cardiovascular system, but did you also know that it can cause
inflammation? If you’ve been smoking for decades, it can be difficult to quit.
Luckily, there are many groups and therapists that can
help support you on your journey. And no, vaping is not a good substitute for
cigarettes. While relatively new to the scene, there have been recent studies showing that vaping is just as damaging to the lungs as
Drink in Moderation
A glass of red wine a night can actually help improve
your joint pain and can even reduce your risk of developing rheumatoid
arthritis. That’s because red wine contains a compound called resveratrol,
which has known anti-inflammatory properties.
Not a wine person? Then you’ll be happy to know that a
glass of beer can also help keep your joints healthy. Just remember that you
want to drink only one glass of wine or beer daily. Going over that amount will
lead to more negative side effects than positives.
If you already suffer from arthritis, alcoholic
beverages may be more harmful as you’re likely taking some kind of medication
whether prescribed or over-the-counter.
In general, most medications do not mix well with
alcohol and can potentially lead to stomach ulcers and liver damage. If you’re
already on medication, make sure to speak to your doctor before incorporating
alcohol into your diet.
Stretching not only keeps you limber, it also protects
your cartilage from wear and tear. As your joints move, they nourish the
cartilage with joint fluid, keeping it lubricated. This reduces overall
stiffness and allows you to keep a wide range of motion.
Stretching comes in a variety of forms, but most doctors recommend practicing something like gentle yoga or Pilates. Not only do they stretch your limbs, but they also help improve your overall strength and sense of balance.
The best part is that you can practice both in the
comfort of your own home. With that said, it’s a good idea to go to a gym or
studio for a couple of weeks so you learn the correct posture and poses.
Otherwise, you can end up hurting yourself.
Just because you’re an older woman, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer from joint pain. If anything, making these changes can help keep you healthy and independent for a long time to come.
What are some ways you’ve found that help reduce your
joint pain? How long have you been practicing them? We’d love to hear your
ideas! Let’s move the conversation to the comment section below!