Sunday, 01 August 2021

F Faith and Fitness

Exercise and Osteoarthritis (OA)

Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints, affecting approximately 27 million Americans. OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.  Although OA occurs in people of all ages, osteoarthritis is most common in people older than 65. Common risk factors include increasing age, obesity, previous joint injury, overuse of the joint, weak thigh muscles.

There are many benefits to starting an exercise program — whether you have osteoarthritis or not — but for people with arthritis pain, there's added incentive to get moving. Regular exercise can help to:

Reduce joint pain. Osteoarthritis destroys cartilage, special tissue that cushions our joints. Exercise increases the lubrication to the cartilage of the joint, thus reducing osteoarthritis symptoms of pain and stiffness.  Not exercising actually leads to stiffer joints and worse osteoarthritis.

Strengthen muscles. As we get older the muscles and tendons that support our joints tend to get weaker.  Exercising increases muscle strength which aids and assists in supporting the joints.

Decrease pressure on joints. Studies show that being even 10 pounds overweight greatly increases the stress across your knee joints with every step you take. Exercise can aid in weight loss to decrease pressure on joints.

Improve overall health. Osteoarthritis symptoms can keep you from being active, which not only aggravates your osteoarthritis, but is also bad for your heart. Exercise decreases all the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle like high blood pressure, diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease.

People with osteoarthritis should consider adding the following types of exercise to their workout routine:

Range of motion exercise. Stretching exercises are effective in preventing the osteoarthritis symptom of joint stiffness.

Aerobic exercise. Jogging, brisk walking, and swimming are all examples of exercises that get your heart rate up and increase blood flow to your muscles. They are very effective in helping to control the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Resistance training. Weightlifting and resistance-band training are strengthening exercises that help build up the muscles and tendons that support your joints.

Remember that a good exercise program is one of the best ways to manage your osteoarthritis symptoms!

Columnist: Kellye Davis Williams

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Kellye Davis Stellman is a personal trainer, gym owner, and certified Life Coach who focuses on the health and well being of her clients as well as coaching them to make positive changes that will impact the rest of their lives.  She helps them achieve their health and fitness goals as well as encourages them to strive for and achieve their “life goals” with her message of hope. 

Kellye resides in East Atlanta with her husband Keith.  She has 4 daughters and 3 grandchildren.  She is an active member of The Tabernacle Church.  In her spare time she loves traveling, spending time with her husband and daughters, shopping, and simply enjoying coffee with friends. 

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