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The aforementioned key to keeping orthopaedic problems at bay is to stay relatively active and eat right. Current research shows that 66% of Americans are overweight, and 32% are classified as obese. This is bad news for our hips, knees and backs.
Let's talk BMI, or body mass index. BMI
is the number you come up with when you divide how much you weigh in
kilograms by how tall you are in centimeters squared. A BMI between
18.5 and 25 is considered normal. A BMI above 25 is considered overweight,
and a BMI of 30 or more is classified as obesity. To find your BMI,
there are several calculators on the Internet including the BMI
recommendations from the Surgeon General.
Losing weight can provide some instant relief for the body. Although we are constantly inundated with new diet fads, remember that logically, the way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than we burn, and the way to maintain weight is to take in approximately the same number of calories that we burn. This method can be harder to follow than it is to understand, and once we build healthy habits, this lifestyle will become easier and easier to maintain. Some diets help you to do this. Others are shams. Be cautious. Anything that seems too good to be true probably is.
If you have arthritis, there are pain aggravators that should be avoided. For instance, paprika, pepper, tobacco, cayenne, eggplant and large amounts of potatoes and tomatoes can antagonize your arthritis since these foods have alkaloids that prevent the repair of collagen and cartilage. Aspartame (found in diet sodas and artificial sweeteners) can also worsen arthritis, since it can cause inflammation in the joints when regularly consumed.
There are health benefits from eating
a diet rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates found in vegetables,
whole wheat and fruits.
It is also important to incorporate exercise into your routine if you
have hip or knee pain. Although it may seem like a catch-22 (you can't exercise
because your knee or hips hurt, but your knee or hips hurt more because you can't
exercise), strengthening the leg muscles can be crucial in alleviating
pain. The more support the muscles can offer, the less stress
and pain you will encounter. Please refer to our online exercise
library, which will show you several strengthening exercises.
Also, if you are hurting and you want to start up an exercise routine,
why not try a stationary bike or swimming? While running or stair
climbing can be taxing to the body, the stationary bike and swimming
are both excellent cardiovascular activities that only place minimal
pressure on the body.
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