Wouldn’t it be a dream if your body were forever youthful and pain-free? Unfortunately, age and health conditions affect everyone. Still, a healthy diet and exercise regimen can help you beat arthritis pain.
Scientists found evidence of arthritis in some of the earliest human remains. It seems to be a disease that has plagued humans since the beginning. Arthritis even affects members of the animal kingdom. Did you know that your body has between 250-360 joints? These joints are places where your bones connect with ligaments, tendons, and protective cartilage. Babies start with more, but some bones fuse, so they have fewer as they mature.
• Joint Types
Your skeleton has three different types of joints that are classified by the degree of movement. Most joints move freely, like your shoulders and knees. Your vertebrae are an example of joints with limited movement. Like the ones in your skull, a few bones are fused and don’t move.
• What Causes Arthritis
Although specialists have recognized over 100 types of arthritis, the most common type is osteoarthritis. It’s a common symptom of aging as your protective cartilage around your joints slowly erodes. The affected joints become stiff, painful, and inflamed as their range of motion is more limited.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another common type, but it is considered an autoimmune disease. If you have RA, your body attacks itself by slowly destroying the soft tissue that produces lubrication for your joints. As a result, your joints become painfully inflamed and eventually disfigured.
• Treatments for Arthritis
According to which type of arthritis you have, your healthcare specialist will usually recommend a treatment plan that includes medication and physical therapy. People with severe cases often must have surgery. Medical specialists also recommend a healthier lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercises geared to benefit arthritic joints.
10 Fun Ways to Beat the Pain of Arthritis
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, you can still have a productive life filled with love and joy. Some of your usual activities may benefit your bones and joints. Try these ten fun ways to beat the pain of arthritis and get back to doing many of the things you love.
1. Go for a Walk
Walking is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Fitness experts explain that walking is one of the best exercises to help you get in shape. Strolling through the park can also beat arthritis pain and strengthen your muscles, joints, and bones.
If you have a dog, she will be your inspiration to take mindful walks together each day. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you. As you walk in the park or through the woods, breathe the fresh air, and notice the natural wonders around you. Walking for as little as ten minutes can also lift your spirits and ease depression.
2. Take Dancing Lessons
Dancing has been an integral part of recreation and sacred ceremonies in nearly all cultures throughout history. When combined with music, you use your body to create a visual image of the beat and harmony. Each movement expresses the emotion of music and its magical story.
You needn’t be Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers to enjoy dancing. There’s a dance for everyone from tango, waltz, square dancing, or even break dancing. Turn on your favorite music and beat arthritis pain with a joyful dance. Make it romantic and dance with your partner if you want.
3. Plant a Garden
Perhaps nothing brings as much joy as walking among the flowers and other plants in a home garden. Are you tired of buying puny produce at your local supermarket? When you plant a garden, you’ll have healthy, organic produce, lovely flowers, and plenty of beneficial exercises.
Even if you have a small veggie patch in your back yard or some potted plants on your patio, it will be enough to keep your body moving and your happy factor maximized. Bending and moving to care for your garden can beat arthritis pain and make your joints more limber. You can complete gardening tasks in about ten minutes each day, making it a quick and enjoyable experience.
4. Use the Stairs
We can thank Elisha Otis for inventing the first elevator in 1861 that was generally safe for passengers. It forever changed how we navigate in multi-storied buildings. Until that time, people climbed stairs, which were patterned after natural formations that existed long before the first humans.
Although it’s tempting to ride the elevator in comfort, climbing stairs involves moving your whole body, and it’s the perfect exercise. Did you know that you can burn as many as five calories when you take 12 stairs? It also stretches your legs, improves balance, and works stiffness out of your arthritic joints.
5. Practice Yoga
When you consider yoga moves, forget the stereotypes of young hippies chanting, burning incense, and twisting their bodies into human pretzels. Yoga is so much more than complicated poses. It is an ancient Hindu philosophy that combines movement, breathing, mindfulness, and spiritual awareness.
Historians believe that the yogic tradition was developed as early as the 6th century BCE in India and spread worldwide. It didn’t find an American audience until the 1960s. Now, you’ll find yoga studios in most cities and some urban areas.
Countless studies suggest that yoga moves and stretches can beat arthritis pain and keep your body limber and healthy. Yogic practices like mindful breathing can be a positive influence on your mood and can also minimize or eliminate chronic pain. You can visit a yoga studio or learn basic poses online.
6. Take a Few Laps in the Pool
No doubt you’ve read about the many benefits of swimming. It’s a fun exercise that involves your entire body in motion. Because of the water’s density, your body floats, and it’s easier for you to move. Most physical therapists recommend swimming for patients with arthritis and other bone and joint conditions.
Take advantage of your outdoor pool and swim in warm weather as often as you can. If you don’t have a collection or the weather is terrible, most public gyms and spas have heated indoor pools. Consider taking a water aerobics class at your local YMCA or other available gyms.
7. Clean Your House
Ask anyone who spends a day cleaning the house if they got a good workout or not. It’s a never-ending job that can burn as much as 190 calories an hour. Plus, you are moving all day while bending, stretching, climbing, and walking. It can strengthen your muscles, connective tissues, and joints that are affected by arthritis.
If you are following an anti-inflammatory diet, cleaning your house can be an activity to help you beat arthritis pain. Your body stretches as you dust, sweep, and mop, and you get a little weight training in by moving furniture and lifting things. Just don’t overdo it because you can hurt yourself.
8. Play Games
There’s a reason that you learned how to play different games in high school gym class. Sports are a fun way to stay in shape and keep your joints pliable and healthy. Would you have ever guessed that a spirited game of badminton or croquet could beat arthritis pain?
Keeping your body moving is a great excuse for playing with your children and grandchildren. If you have arthritis pain in your hands, simple board or card games can work your hands and fingers for better flexibility. Playing games also benefit your psychological well-being.
9. Play a Musical Instrument
Aren’t you glad your parents made you take piano lessons or join the band when you were in school? Not only do you have an enriching lifetime hobby, but it may lower your risks of getting painful arthritis in your hands. Playing an instrument can also beat arthritis pain if you already have it.
Almost all musical instruments require using your hands and fingers to produce specific notes or tones. Even if you practice your scales on the piano or other devices, you are giving your hands a good workout. Also, music feeds your soul and is a beautiful way to bond with family and friends.
10. Ride a Bicycle
They say that once you learn how to ride a bicycle, you’ll never forget. Riding a bike requires correct posture, balance, and coordination. It’s especially beneficial to your hips, behind, legs, and feet. These are common points of arthritis pain.
When’s the last time you donned your helmet and other safety gear to ride on a bicycle? Bicycle transportation for all ages is the norm for many European countries. If you want to have some fun, go for a spin with your sweetie on a bicycle built for two.
While there’s still no cure for arthritis, but using correct posture, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and getting proper exercise may help prevent it or beat the pain. Before you begin any diet or exercise regiment, talk to your primary healthcare provider or a certified fitness trainer. You can have fun exercising and enjoying more pain-free days in the future.