3 Tips For Losing Weight And Regaining Functional Fitness With Arthritis

A major problem that often occurs when you have any type of arthritis is you might gain a significant amount of weight and lose functional fitness. Although there is no easy path to regain better health, there are some tactics that might improve your situation.

Focus On Reducing Simple Carbs

Whether you choose to try a low-carb way of eating or choose to only eat fiber-rich, complex carbs, both tactics can be helpful when trying to reduce excess weight. Many people with arthritis experience significant weight gain from steroids, which can be used to suppress inflammation, or decreases in their daily activities due to pain and limitations. Since you may not be able to exercise, your diet is even more critical for managing your weight. Avoiding carbohydrates, especially ones that spike insulin levels or empty from the stomach quickly, can make you eat fewer calories throughout the day without constantly battling hunger. Try to eat most of your carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables. If you choose to integrate traditional carbs, choose quinoa, brown rice, lentils, and beans.

Target Your Biggest Limitations First

Think about what physical ailments are the most problematic and begin trying exercises to improve muscle strength and joint function. It is always best to ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist to ensure you are not doing any exercises that could make the problem worse. If you are trying to improve strength on your own, exercise bands are a good way to start. You can easily vary the resistance and perform any number of exercises while standing or seated. If you have a significant problem with standing or walking for long periods, you might try exercises to strengthen the muscles in your legs. Similarly, some people with arthritis find just carrying their groceries from the car can be a struggle. Use your resistance bands to build up strength in your biceps and triceps. You may only be able to do a few reps every other day to start, but over time, the amount you can do will improve.

Take Action To Improve Sleep And Stress

Making a conscious effort to improve the amount and quality of sleep, and reduce stress can help in your fitness efforts. Poor sleep quality is common among people with arthritis, often due to pain, depression, and anxiety. Also, the disease itself can saddle you with significant stress. Unfortunately, both lack of restorative sleep and stress only packs on the pounds and can exacerbate pain. The easiest way to make improvements is to adopt meditation. You may spend 10 to 15 minutes before you go to bed and try to clear your mind and focus on your breathing. Some people also include supplements in their diet if they do not cause any drug interactions. Many supplements, such as St. John's Wort, Valerian root, and melatonin are associated with improved mood states or helping to promote sleep.

Even small changes to your diet or lifestyle can add up to major changes when you are faced with pain or physical limitations.