Leading Experts Share Health and Fitness Tips to Mark National Arthritis Awareness Week
Nearly one in five Australians are affected by arthritis, however contrary to popular belief the condition does not just impact the elderly. Research shows that many sufferers are still in the prime of their life with two in three of working age.
Nature's Own Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist, Kate Save says that arthritis affects people in different ways. There are general lifestyle factors that all exercise enthusiasts and especially sufferers should consider implementing, in order to alleviate and manage symptoms.
While a cure for arthritis doesn't currently exist, research has shown that early diagnosis and intervention can delay progression and greatly improve quality of life.
'It's important to stay active to keep your joints supple and muscles strong. While you can manage pain with select medicines, your GP can also recommend a range of supplements which contain natural ingredients such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Omega-3," Kate said.
'It's equally important to control lethargy with adequate rest, and consume a well-balanced diet to improve overall nutrition and health," she said.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in Australia. It accounts for more than half (55.9%) of all arthritis cases and affects more than 1.8 million people with prevalence higher amongst women than men (17.7% compared with 11.8%).
To help promote a nation of fit and fabulous Australians, Kate Save and Nature's Own share their top tips for managing the symptoms of this surprisingly common condition.
Support and strengthen supple joints: Kate's top three tips to nurturing with nutrition
Omega-3 is key: Foods rich in Omega-3 fats have been proven to help reduce inflammation. Good sources of Omega-3 include oily fish such as sardines, tuna and salmon, canola oil, ground linseed and walnuts. Additionally, consider taking a good quality fish oil supplement.
A colourful, antioxidant rich diet: Fill your plate with a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables every day to enrich your diet with antioxidants. A healthy balanced diet will not only ensure you meet your daily nutritional requirements but also help maintain a healthy weight to reduce the impact of arthritis on joints.
Supplements: A glucosamine and chondroitin supplement may be beneficial for temporarily reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis, increasing mobility and protecting against further cartilage breakdown. Glucosamine is one of the building blocks of cartilage naturally produced by the body. Chondroitin is also a natural substance found in the body which helps draw water and nutrients into the cartilage.
Exercise Osteoarthritis Away: Best Activities to Help Maximise Movement
The following five activities are particularly beneficial for helping to prevent the onset and management of the condition:
1. Tai Chi:
Is a gentle type of exercise involving smooth, flowing movements to help improve the flow of life energy (traditionally known as 'Qi")
Increases muscle strength in the lower body, and improves balance and posture
Is suitable for most people to practice on a daily basis
Strengthens and lengthens muscles through eccentric contractions
Recommended 1-2 sessions per week for improved core stability to assist with balance, flexibility and overall strength
Not suitable for all people, seek advice from an exercise physiologist or physiotherapists
3. Hydrotherapy and water based exercise:
Popular amongst professional athletes who often look to hydrotherapy to help maintain strong blood flow around the body
The warmth and buoyancy of the water helps to loosen joints and muscles, and alleviate weight from painful joints
Water based exercise promotes freer movement than on land, and is suitable for people who can only do limited land-based training on a daily basis
4. Strength Training:
Increases muscle strength to help support joints and builds bone strength to improve balance
Seek professional exercise prescription from an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist for resistance band exercises or gym-based weights program
Recommended 2-3 times per week for those who deemed suitable
5. Low impact cardio:
Important for maintaining weight and the health of your heart and blood vessels
Low impact exercises which increase your heart rate such as walking and bike riding are recommended for all people with osteoarthritis on a daily basis for 30-60 minutes
For information about the Nature's Own range visit www.naturesown.com.au
Nature's Own is part of the largest vitamin maker and distributer in Australia, with a world-class centre for quality, manufacturing and research in Brisbane. As one of the longest established vitamin brands in Australia, Nature's Own is at the forefront of naturopathic research and new product development. For nearly 40 years, Nature's Own has been helping millions of Australian's to improve & maintain their health. They have listened to what Australian bodies want and understand their needs. For more information, visit www.naturesown.com.au.
As one of the country's most respected dietitians and exercise physiologists, Kate Save is truly passionate about helping to empower individuals across all walks of life make real change within their own lives to achieve optimal health and wellness. Holding a double degree in Nutrition/Dietetics and Exercise Science from Deakin University and possessing more than a decade of experience, Kate has a robust resume which also includes Pilates instructor, boxing trainer, former model and television presenter.