Our joints have the hard task of carrying the weight of our bodies. For every individual there is an optimum weight which our bones and joints can take in order to function at their best. If there is a shift in mass, our joints suffer. This means that we are more likely to bring on joint related illnesses such as arthritis caused by the excess pressure being put on our hips and knees joints. That is why obesity is a common risk factor for joint pain and stiffness due to the increased weight delivered to joints.
But you might think having a bit of excess weight is okay since you know a lot of people who have more weight than you and are doing okay. But consider this. For each extra kilogram that you add to your weight, your knees feel this pressure 3 times more and 6 times more on your hips. To put it simply, if you gain 10kg above your normal healthy weight, you actually loading your knees with 30kg more and 60kg more to your hips! This can hardly be called a bit of excess weight.
If you are putting so much weight on your joints and you carry on doing your normal routine you’ll find that you start feeling pain and tenderness in your joints after some time. Pain is caused by excess wear and tear due to the added pressure and your joints tirelessly trying to carry all that extra weight. Studies have shown that overweight individuals are 4-5 times more likely to develop osteoarthritis compared to their normal body weight counterparts. Being overweight can even accelerate the onset of arthritis, in view of the fact that obese children have been found to have the same symptoms as older arthritic individuals.
If you have pain around the joints when you wake up in the morning or your joints are swollen and you have a high body mass index, then you might benefit by losing your extra kilos. It may not reverse the damage done to the joints but you will achieve easier mobility and feel less joint pain. You can even reduce the risk of developing arthritis by up to 50%.
Following a healthy diet and maintaining an exercise regime would be a vital step forward. It would also be wise to invest in a good pair of shoes to support your extra weight. Even if you have joint pain, you can still do low impact activities which will not aggravate the joints. Great exercises are cycling, walking and swimming which can increase your cardiovascular fitness and heart rate. If the going gets a bit tough, there are many support services available to you but its best to speak to your doctor first.
Dieting can be a pain as we all know. However, we have found a couple of useful aids to getting those excess pounds off. These both take very different approaches.
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