Tips for avoiding arthritis

Steve Carlton  |  August 9, 2013

There are few conditions more painful than rheumatoid arthritis. People with this condition can struggle to accomplish even the simplest everyday tasks, as the pain can be tremendous. Although arthritis cannot be cured, it can be mitigated. Some strategies may even help to keep the condition at bay.

Watch your weight

Even being slightly overweight can be a significant contributing factor to the likelihood that you'll develop arthritis. Seriously overweight individuals have a much greater chance of developing the condition due to the excess weight their bones have to support. Eating well and keeping an eye on your waistline is one of the best ways you can stave off arthritis, so be sure to eat a well-balanced diet that's high in fibre and low in fat.

Exercise regularly

Although it might seem as though your GP recommends this as a solution to virtually all ailments, it's true - exercising on a regular basis can promote joint health, which can significantly lower your chance of developing arthritis. You don't need to gear up for the London Marathon, though. Walking three times a week is enough to benefit your health, so get up and start moving!

Be careful, however, as repetitive strain caused by performing the same exercises continually can result in joint inflammation, a leading cause of arthritis. So, ensure your exercise routine has a little variety. Similarly, avoid high-impact exercises like running, even if you feel well, as this can also lead to joint problems.

Eat well

Undoubtedly another of your GP's favourite recommendations, eating well can not only keep your weight down, it can also alleviate the earliest signs of arthritis. Certain foods, such as green tea, have natural anti-inflammatory properties. This refreshing drink is also packed with antioxidants. Other foods known to help reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms include salmon (and any other fish rich in omega-3 oils), olive oil, carotenes such as melon, and anthocyanins such as cherries and blackberries.

If you're worried about arthritis, talk to the staff at your assisted living community, or discuss your concerns with your GP. Even if you're already starting to feel the pain in your joints, it's never too late to make some lifestyle changes, minimise the symptoms and reduce the likelihood of it getting worse.