Some suggestions on how you maybe able to slow down the progression of arthritis.

In this post I am going to talk specfically about osteoarthritis.  I need to state there is no cure for osteoarthritis and whilst   no single gene found has been found which indicates osteoarthritis there is research which shows a genetic factor.  There is also an occupational factor so if you have a heavy physical work load then that is a risk. Along with the following

  • kneeling
  • regular stair climbing,
  • crawling
  • bending
  • whole body vibration
  • repetitive movements.

Now that list may make you roll your eyes as most of them (apart from crawling!) are part of daily life but there are things that might be able to help slow down the process.

  • Rosehip powder – whilst the evidence is sparse there is some that indicates that a good quality rosehip powder may reduce the pain of OA.
  • Eat your brocolli – now I like this one purely because it urges you to eat a vegetable rich in  vitamins A, C, folic acid, fiber, calcium and pottassium. However it also contains a glucoraphanin compound which our body turns into another compound, called sulforaphane, which appears to protect the joints. Steam don’t boil!
  • Take a glucosamine sulfate supplement.Research has found some glucosamine sulfate may delay the progression of OA
  • Ditch the soda -Soda May Worsen Knee Osteoarthritis in Men
  • Lose a little weight  Just 10% weight loss with a diet and exercise plan may relieve arthritic knee pain
  • Increase muscle strength – a 5 year study to determine whether quadriceps weakness is associated with elevated risk of worsening knee pain   found that quadriceps weakness was associated with an increased risk of worsening of knee pain over 5 years in women, but not in men.

The NHS Choices website page on prevention of osteoarthritis  recommends you avoid weight training if you have osteoarthritis. I don’t think the issue is quite that black and white and would depend on the person.  Whilst I agree that taking up olympic lifting or powerlifting may not be the most sensible options stronger muscles take the stress off the joints and help support unstable joints. There are methods of strength training that will ensure you gain muscle strength without stressing the affected joint.  In fact evidence has shown that incorporating strength training into an exercise programme decreased pain by 43% in osteoarthritic patients.

The current ACSM guidelines for people with arthritis is cardiovascular work 30-60 minutes 5 days per week accompanied by resistance training with major muscle groups twice a week and flexibility activities. However if you are not currently active these are long term goals and you could start out slowly with 2-3 short sessions a day.  This DVD is recommended by the The Centre for Healthy Ageing Research and Arthritis Research UK has several exercise sheets  you may find useful.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

For more information on Personal Training in the Farnham area, please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. This will open a new browser window.

Kettlebell power!

So this week I was very excited to finally go on a Kettlebell Instructor course. I have been using kettlebells in my training on and off for about 4 years but now can include them in my programmes for other people.

What are kettlebells?

3 little Kettlebells all in a row

3 little Kettlebells all in a row

Yes they look like a cannonball with a handle. They come in all different weights, traditionally the weights go up in 4kg increments hence 4kg,8kg,12kg,16kg etc, but now they are becoming more popular you can find them in most weights (and stores such as Sports Direct sell them)

So what do they do? EVERYTHING.

Here is a list of what kettlebells are good for

What are they not good* for?

  • hypertension
  • osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis
  • pregnancy
  • severe osteoporosis
  • making tea

They are an incredible versatile piece of equipment, and great for home use or if you are short of time. However (there is always a however) I would recommend you get taught the exercises first by someone qualified to teach them as technique is key. A lot of commercial gyms now have a set of kettlebells and if it sounds like something you might find fun you should ask an instructor if someone can teach you how to use them.  Some gyms have weekly classes which is great for getting practice in under a watchful eye.

Remember you are never too old to try new things and variety is the spice of life (no eye-rolling at the back please).

Enjoy your weekend.

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.

*everyone is an individual and these are generalisations but please seek professional opinion if you are on this list before using kettlebells.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

Helen Witcomb is a personal trainer in the Farnham area, please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. for more information. This will open a new browser window.

National Fitness Day September 27th

Wow, it’s been a while. Sorry for my silence, life has been very busy, summer holidays, training and then participating in a Strongwoman competition and work.  However something is coming up I wanted to blog about.

On the 27th September it is National Fitness Day.  This day is about getting active, just 30 minutes a day 5 days a week is all that is needed for health benefits but let’s  start with one day and one lot of 30 minutes.

On the last Friday of September of each year, everyone is encouraged to take part in Empower Half Hour at 1pm doing 30 minutes of fun activities and exercise. This could be walking, swimming, cycling, dancing.  Anything that gets YOU moving and a smile on your face.  However you don’t have to do it at 1pm, walk to work in the morning, take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, go for a walk in your local park, go for a swim in your lunch break.  It doesn’t really matter what you do, it’s about making that first step into a routine that will see health benefits such as better sleep, increased mobility and mood improvement.

If you fancy doing something as a group then Surrey Sports Park in Guildford has a whole day of events you can try such as Zumba and Swimfit for free.  The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford has a an empowering 30-minute workout including, stamina moves, stretches and Body combat! The class is free and open to all ages.

More information about National Fitness Day can be found at National Fitness Day, including activities happening around the country. They also have a twitter account @FitnessDayUK

What are you planning to do?

Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment. By subscribing to this blog you will be informed of any new articles. You will not receive any spam email.

Helen Witcomb is a personal trainer in the Farnham area, please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. for more information. This will open a new browser window.

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