Living Well With Arthritis – Lifestyle Changes for Joint Health

Living well with arthritis requires taking an integrative approach to managing its symptoms, including eating healthily and engaging in physical activities as well as making meaningful connections with others.

As part of your treatment, it’s also essential to visit a rheumatologist regularly. Your treatment plan may need to change as your condition evolves, and vice versa.

1. Eat Right

Adjusting your diet to reduce inflammation can have a tremendous impact on arthritis symptoms. Aim for a diet rich in healthy fats (such as those found in fish), fiber, vitamins minerals and antioxidants for maximum efficacy.

Avoid sugary beverages, fatty meats and processed foods which may aggravate joint swelling. Make an effort to include fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins into your daily meal plan for maximum benefit.

Make sure that you get enough restorative sleep, too. A restful night’s rest can help decrease inflammation associated with arthritis pain. Furthermore, getting sufficient and healthy amounts of restful slumber also supports bone health, weight control and mental wellbeing. Exercise should also play an integral part of managing arthritis symptoms; just ensure low-impact exercises that won’t strain or stress out joints too much!

2. Move Your Body

To maintain good joint health, the muscles that support your joints must be strong. Exercise that does not put stress on them (ideally low impact workouts). Your doctor or physical therapist can work together on tailoring a program specifically to your needs.

Activity boosts heart function, which boosts fluid that lubricates joints and delivers nutrients directly. Movement also helps reduce stiffness while improving mobility and mood.

Assistive devices may also help you be more active. For instance, if hand arthritis makes opening jars difficult for you, try leaning against the counter or using a wall-mounted jar opener instead. And if an activity causes sharp pain that needs immediate medical attention, stop and slow down before applying ice packs as soon as possible afterward.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is an integral component of overall health. A good night’s rest can reduce pain, improve function and mood as well as quality of life for adults with arthritis, assist weight management efforts, prevent osteoporosis and support bone health.

If you find it hard to sleep soundly, it may be beneficial to consult your physician regarding potential causes and treatment options. Furthermore, practicing good sleeping hygiene such as avoiding caffeine and stimulants such as nicotine as well as creating a bedtime routine and relaxing before sleep should help.

Sleep can play an essential role in joint health by helping keep inflammation under control. At night, your levels of cortisol — an anti-inflammation hormone — tend to drop off significantly as opposed to during the daytime hours.

4. Stay Stress-Free

Stressful situations can aggravate arthritis symptoms and hinder daily tasks, so employ relaxation techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises and yoga to lower stress hormone levels in your blood.

Acchieve joint health requires making changes that address all aspects of wellbeing – nutrition, sleep, physical activity and stress reduction are just a few examples of things to keep in mind when making lifestyle adjustments to support joint health.

If you are new to managing a chronic condition, finding a support community may be useful. Also consider participating in a self-management education program designed to build your skills and confidence for living your best life with arthritis.

5. Stay Connected

To achieve joint health, a balanced lifestyle must include mental, physical and emotional well-being. Establishing an activity/rest balance within each day’s routine as well as using exercises without pain-inducing effects as well as assistive devices can greatly improve quality of life and lead to greater joint wellness.

Engaging in a local or virtual support group for people living with arthritis is an excellent way to connect with other members of the arthritis community and learn positive coping strategies and self-management techniques. You may even be able to find information sessions or courses offered through your Arthritis Foundation office – get in touch today to discover more!

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