In an ideal world, the pain would not exist, our weight would be optimal, we would enjoy exercise and we would have plenty of energy. But when arthritis invades the joints with pain and stiffness, the desire to exercise and the energy that we have left can go away.
The world is not perfect, but there are ways to control weight, reduce pain and increase energy levels. Anyone can make small changes in habits that have a great impact over time.
If you do not know where to start, read on. We ask the experts to help us make this list of the best 10 habits to adopt:
Have a daily breakfast at home
If you eat out, it’s easier to start the day with calories from fat, explains Rachel Brandeis, a nutrition specialist, who recommends foods that combine protein, high-fiber carbohydrates, and little fat. Oatmeal with fruit and skim milk (such as soy, almonds and other seeds) and wholemeal bread.
Stress less
Stress exacerbates the symptoms of arthritis. To reduce it, note what it is that causes you to stress in life. Then ask yourself which ones you can modify and write down some change strategies, for example: if the work is stressful, consider what actions you can take. Talk to your supervisor about changes in responsibilities so that you do more of the work you enjoy. For what you can not change, change your way of thinking: remember the value of your achievements and the rewards of getting a salary.
Simplify household chores
Help joints to perform housework more efficiently. For example, fill a basket at the foot of the stairs during the day to avoid multiple trips of going up and down things. You can buy a basket with a handle that is placed over the shoulder, so you have your hands free to hold on to the handrail.
Be organized
Instead of having health documents, analysis results, and papers about treatments spread around the house create a special place for them. Buy a small file cabinet with folders and labels to sort them. In this way, you can easily insert and remove what you need. Keep an agenda where you write down medical appointments, pain level, drugs, etc. and save it right there.
Get ahead of the pain
Although it may sound pessimistic to think about pain before it starts, anticipating its arrival may be the best way to alleviate it. Once the pain begins it is difficult to control it. Preventing is the best option. Many people have pain when getting up in the morning or after exercising, so take an analgesic before going to bed or before exercising.
Walk barefoot
Rest of the shoes when you are at home. “Most shoes force the knees more than if you were barefoot,” says Dr. Casey Kerrigan, owner of OESH, a footwear company and president of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Virginia. Note: barefoot means barefoot, so do not wear stockings, as it could slip on some floors.
Leave tags
When people see the world through their arthritis, they tend to call themselves “arthritic”. Instead, refer to yourself as a person with arthritis. Do not let the disease define it.
Be creative with the exercise
Do not go through the exercise because it is cold outside, because the tire was blown to the bicycle or because the gym closed. Examine what really constitutes exercise. Play with your dog, put a taichi or yoga video that you like, organize the kitchen cupboards or follow a video exercise game. Either of these options can be good tab as you go around the block.
Eat a sandwich every three hours
If you have not eaten for three hours or more, your blood sugar drops. You need to eat something, which is particularly important if arthritis is sucking energy. Stay away from the calories derived from sweets or salted snacks. Use high-fiber carbohydrates and lean protein, such as whole-grain crackers and peanut butter, or yogurt with nuts.
Take supplements
Natural foods are the best way to get vitamins and minerals. To ensure a balanced diet, add a multivitamin complex and supplements to your diet, with the approval of the doctor.