Osteoarthritis is becoming a very common health concern. 5 things one should keep in mind and lifestyle modifications to follow once diagnosed with osteoarthritis?
I recognize my osteoarthritis diagnosis came as a result of my not doing some of the basics. I knew better but, I was always in a rush to take care of others and didn’t leave time for myself. It’s sidelined me once before and I do everything within my power to not let that happen again. Some of the things that are now an integral part of my routine are:
- Stretch Stretch and Stretch – A pre and post-exercise stretching routine is a must. I also integrate stretching on my rest days as active recovery. It doesn’t have to take long, no more than five minutes max.
- Maintaining a healthy weight – Keeping a balanced routine and avoiding excess weight has helped remove the unnecessary pressure on my knees.
- Strengthen your muscles – Strength training has been my number one saving grace. I didn’t think I would ever get back to where I was pre-diagnosis and I’m now stronger than ever. Especially with movements like squats and lunges, my key was starting slow, with no weights, and truly focusing on the form and getting the best range of motion my knees could handle. Then I gradually increased the weight keeping those form cues in front of my mind.
- Protect the joints – I eliminate anything that puts an unnecessary pounding on my knees – running was my biggest culprit. The competitiveness inside me struggled with that a bit early on – it still does sometimes – but, I’ve learned to enjoy the slow and steady walk, clearing my mind and enjoying the outdoors.
- Eat a balanced diet – Studies show that nutrients rich in vitamin C (think fruits and vegetables) and Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil may help. Keeping your diet balanced and filled with whole foods will do your entire body good.
- Rest – Taking days off with no active exercise has been crucial. While I schedule them into my weekly routine, there are days that I have to listen to my body and just rest or switch the workout to something that is upper-body focused only.
- Buy good shoes – A good pair of walking shoes is well worth the $150+ you might pay. And once you buy them, wear them often. I wear them throughout the day as much as possible to add additional support for my knees.
Share more input on your personal fitness routine every day? 5 misconceptions about strength training from your experience as a trainer?
My personal fitness routine incorporates a balance of strength, cardio, active recovery days, and rest days. I personally aim to strength train 3-4 days a week, do 2-3 days of steady state cardio or active recovery, and 1 day with nothing at all. Every one of those days includes stretching (except sometimes my do nothing day does end up with absolutely nothing). While this is my weekly goal, life does sometimes detour me from this schedule. I adapt the best I can and give myself the grace to know I’ll jump back into my preferred routine as soon as I’m able to. Perfection is impossible.
Some of the misconceptions I hear from the ladies I train or from social media are:
- Lifting heavy will make you bulky.
- Lots of cardio will get me the transformational goals I’m searching for.
- I have to work out for an hour a day for 6 days a week.
- I have to follow a strict meal plan and eliminate so many calories that I’m hungry all day.
- HIIT workouts alone will sculpt my body.
Most of the misconceptions I see when women start working with me were at some point the catalyst to them starting a routine strong and then quickly quitting. The goal is to find a behavioral change balance that allows you to slowly and steadily incorporate positive changes into your routine. If you knew you were going to find a routine that allowed you to reach and maintain your goals for the long term, does it matter if it takes a little bit longer to get?
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.