Arthritis and Obesity – A Double-Edged Sword

When you suffer from arthritis and obesity, you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. The inflammation and pain from your arthritis make it hard to move. Exercising feels like an impossibility. But the more you put off exercising, the more you gain weight. The more weight you put on, the more your arthritis hurts. The two conditions compound each other and you feel worse and worse each day. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you adjust your attitude and approach arthritis and obesity differently, you can get yourself feeling better. After all, if the worsening of one condition causes the other condition to worsen as well, it only follows that if you start to treat one condition, the other condition will get better as well. Here are some tips for getting yourself on the road towards feeling better and getting healthier.

Start with Your Diet 

It’s understandable that when your body hurts, it’s hard to convince yourself to get moving. So, before you start trying to get more mobile, you need to adjust your diet. Simple dietary changes can get you feeling a little bit better by giving you energy and reducing inflammation.

First, eliminate processed foods from your diet. Processed foods have a lot of preservatives in them to extend their shelf life. Unfortunately, these preservatives are some of the worst things you can eat if you’re trying to reduce your body’s inflammation. Instead, choose whole grains, lean proteins, beans, fresh fruits, and healthy fats like avocados. All of these foods can help reduce inflammation so that your body feels better. And believe it or not, even if you’re not sticking to a strict diet, reducing processed foods and increasing whole foods in your diet may help with obesity as well.

Another easy trick to helping both your arthritis and obesity is to drink more water. Drinking more water can help your body flush out any toxins. Water can also help you have more energy throughout the day, which is important for when you start adding exercise into your routine.

Treat Your Arthritis Symptoms 

Once you have your diet under control, you’ll want to do whatever you can to treat your symptoms of arthritis and reduce your pain. When used responsibly, Tylenol or Aleve can help relieve arthritis pain. Free Your Spine also has some great information on relieving back pain and decompressing your spine. While there’s no cure for arthritis, treating the symptoms can make it feel more manageable.

Another way to manage your arthritis symptoms is to use heat and cold compresses to help reduce swelling. Swelling around the joints makes arthritis worse, so keeping your inflammation down is key to managing your arthritis.

Add in Low-Intensity Exercise 

Once you’ve adjusted your diet and are treating your arthritis symptoms, you’ll be in the best position possible to begin adding exercise into your life. Low-intensity exercises are going to be your best bet. These exercises minimize the stress put on your joints so that you don’t find yourself in too much pain. Low-intensity exercises include swimming, yoga, walking, and stretching. You don’t have to have special equipment to do these exercises. In fact, YouTube has quick yoga workouts you can do from the comfort of your living room without spending a dime. And if you live in a climate that doesn’t allow you to walk outside often, you can do indoor walking activities instead.

The more that you treat your arthritis symptoms, the better you’ll feel. The better you feel, the more you’ll be able to put effort and energy into cooking healthy foods and exercising. The more you cook healthy foods and exercise, the more you’ll be able to manage your weight. Instead of a compounding issue, treating arthritis and obesity simultaneously can compound, making both conditions better over time. At the end of the day, your goal should be to feel better. You can do that step by step, one day at a time, even with arthritis and obesity.