Mary Alexander: Hello! I'm Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, and today I'm talking about tips for preventing and living with arthritis.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, one of the best ways to protect your joints is to maintain your ideal body weight. The more you weigh, the more stress you put on your hips, knees, back, and feet.
When lifting or carrying, use the largest and strongest joints and muscles. This will help you avoid injury and strain on your smaller joints. When sitting, be sure to shift around in your seat. Changing positions regularly will decrease the stiffness in your muscles and joints.
Eat right by adding more vegetables, fruits, nuts, tea, and eating chocolate to your diet. Many plant-based foods contain antioxidants and phytochemicals which may reduce joint inflammation. Load up on Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as Salmon and Tuna.
Research has also shown the importance of vitamin C and other antioxidants reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and its progression. Oranges and other citrus fruits are good sources of folic acid which can help alleviate the side-effects of some medications such as Methotrexate.
Other good diet and lifestyle ideas are to reduce red meat intake and quit smoking, both of which have been found to increase the incident of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is also important to have a regular exercise program.
Exercise protects joints by strengthening the muscles around them. Strong muscles keep joints from rubbing against one another, wearing down cartilage. Your workout should include flexibility, aerobic, and strengthening exercises. Be sure to check with your doctor for the best exercise routine for you. He/she may recommend water, walking, or other land-based programs.
In addition to taking care of yourself, there are some tools you can use to help make day-to-day living easier. From Ziploc bags to specially designed food product covers, the Arthritis Foundation keeps and updates a list of ease-of-use products that make living with arthritis more simple. You can find the full brochure at arthritis.
The Arthritis Foundation, the only national not-for-profit organization that supports to more than 100 types of arthritis and related condition, offer information and tools on their website arthritis.
You can also learn more by checking out our other videos on arthritis, including coping and supporting arthritis sufferers and their caregivers.